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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

From the industry

Dangers of pensions advice

Pensions professionals are increasingly likely toface the threat of litigation, said Barlow Lyde &Gilbert litigation partner Tim Strong.

Solicitors and pensions consultancy firms haveall faced an increased number of claims as thecombination of increased life expectancy of theworkforce and lower investment returns has leftsome pension funds facing large shortfalls. High profileinsolvencies – in some cases leavingemployees with no pension provision – andincreased scrutiny of the pensions industry fromregulators, have also meant further pressure onemployers and pension trustees. In this environment,an increase in the number claims isinevitable.

Handling and resolving pensions-related claimscan be notoriously difficult, said professional liabilitypartner Fergal Cathie. He presented a casestudy which examined professional negligenceissues for actuaries at pensions consultancy firmsand solicitors, and highlighted the risk of contributionclaims and the importance of properlyscoping the engagement terms.