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Harriet Dawes is a partner at Lovell White Durrant.
The law of pensions is complicated. The lawyer who wants to be a pensions specialist, or the expert faced with a new problem should be grateful for this book. Indeed, it is now a standard work and, since it was first published in 1989, has become a required text for anybody who wishes to be considered seriously as an expert pension lawyer.
The present supplements have updated this work. The Pension Schemes Office has tightened up on the appointment of administrators, discussed in a section dealing with the Finance Act 1994, s.103 & 104.
There have been some extremely interesting cases since the last update to this edition. The NGN staff pension plan dealt with the duties of trustees in relation to various categories of member and the vexed problem of unisex actuarial rates. The Drexel Burnham Lambert case exposed possible dangers for trustees who are beneficiaries deciding on improvements in which they share.
Self-investment by trustees was dealt with in Wright v Ginn. Here the court looked at the problem for trustees who had made an investment which, subsequently contravened the employer-related investment provisions. The costs of bringing an action were the subject of litigation in Taylor v Lucas - a warning to beneficiaries not to assume that costs will always be paid out of a pension fund.
Finally, there is discussion of the division of surplus and the powers of the employer in the British Coal staff superannuation scheme.
Nigel Inglis-Jones does the profession of pension lawyers a great service in continuing to make sure that practitioners have access to the up-to-date materials needed to advise their clients.