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Pensioners from four schemes challenged the legality of a decision of the Pensions Protection Fund as to how it would pay their pensions, and accrued entitlements, in the light of the CJEU ruling in Hampshire v Board of the Pension Protection Fund [2019] ICR 327. Giving judgment for the Claimants, Lewis J ruled that: (a) the provisions in the Pensions Act 2004 that capped the amount of compensation payable were unjustified discrimination on grounds of age, contrary to the pensioners directly effective rights derived from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as being contrary to A1P1 and Article 14 ECHR, such that those primary legislative provisions fell to be disapplied; and (b) that the PPF’s approach failed to accord with Article 8 of the Insolvency Directive because it did not guarantee that each pensioner would receive at least half of the private pension they had contracted for.  The judgment also contains important analysis on delay in claims challenging the legality of legislation where private claims arise in parallel and upon the topic of limitation.  Lewis J also ruled on the limits to payments that can be made by private pension trustees of insolvent schemes that are under assessment but which have not yet entered the PPF.

Tom de la Mare QC and Iain Steele acted for BALPA (the airline pilots union) and pilots from the BMI and Monarch schemes.

Fraser Campbell acted for 20-20 Trustee Services Limited.

The full judgment can be found here.

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