s91 Pensions Act doesn’t stand in the way of compromises of genuine legal disputes.  

In International Management Group (UK) Limited v German, the High Court had concluded that s91 Pensions Act 1995 prevented compromise agreements relating to good faith disputes about pension entitlements. The Court of Appeal has now overturned that decision.

The Court adopted a straightforward reading of the s91 ban on people surrendering pension entitlements or rights. It concluded that s91 didn’t cover possible entitlements or rights in dispute. As such, s91 does not stop people compromising good faith disputes over pension rights (whether or not the settlement is approved by the Court).  

This confirmation that employers (and trustees) can settle disputes with members over benefit rights, and can do so without having to seek the Court’s blessing, is welcome news.