Limits to trustees' information duties to members and an update on lifetime allowance protections

09 June 2016

Appropriate and timely sharing of information can be critical to making informed financial decisions. In the pensions context, the value of information sharing is recognised by trust law and legislation, which impose obligations on trustees and sponsoring employers to share information with scheme members as a matter of course and upon request.

Pension scheme amendments can give rise to “cliff edges”, disappointed members and complaints that more information about the changes should have been given to members. The scope of the trustees’ duty to share information with members was considered in the recent case of Mayo where the Deputy Pensions Ombudsman determined that trustees were under no legal obligation to advise on whether a member’s decision to take early retirement was suitable for him.

Lifetime allowance protection

Individuals applying for interim lifetime allowance protections from 6 April 2016 should apply for a permanent reference number once the online system is made available from July 2016.