Pensions, Employment, and the Law

Pensions, Employment, and the Law

Pensions, Employment, and the Law

Pensions, Employment, and the Law

Synopsis

Pension funds operated by the trustees of private occupational pension schemes are now among Britain's largest sources of investment and the funds under the control of the trustees amount to billions of dollars. This money is invested to provide pension benefits for employees and it is therefore of paramount importance that these funds are managed in accordance with their members' legitimate expectation that benefits will accrue upon the occurrence of specified events. Recent cases, including the fraud involving the Mirror Group Pension fund, have demonstrated that controls upon trustees may not be effective and that such funds are vulnerable to mismanagement and fraud. This book addresses the question of whether the current legal framework for private occupational pension schemes, based upon the law of trusts, is adequate to the task of controlling the management of these schemes, and suggests a range of reforms that would effectively restore public confidence in pension fund managers.

Excerpt

It is our aim as editors of this series to promote the publication of books which will make a distinctive contribution to the study of labour law. For this purpose, we have adopted a deliberately open-ended view of the subject. Consequently we expect to deal with topics which straddle the frontiers between labour law and other areas of law, whether it be social security law, pensions law, or company law. We expect that books in the series will not necessarily adopt a formal or legalistic approach, for we would wish to encourage authors to draw upon the contributions made by other disciplines, whether it be industrial relations, political science, or economics. and we expect, finally, that books in the series will not concentrate exclusively on legal developments in Britain. We are conscious of the importance of eec law, and aware of the growing interest in the labour laws of eec member states, as well as in comparative labour law generally.

This fourth title to appear in the series will, we hope, combine the virtues of fitting in extremely well with the theoretical aims and ambitions of the series as a whole and of contributing to a current practical debate about the state of the law relating to occupational pension schemes. So topical is this subject that we expect that the publication of this book will virtually coincide with the publication of the Report of the Pension Law Review Committee, to the proceedings of which Richard Nobles addressed a significant contribution. in one sense it was no accident that Richard Nobles' private project should converge upon the public view of pension law, for the Editors of the series had recognized that the inquiry which Richard Nobles was engaged upon was very necessary, and that he was singularly well qualified to develop such a project, significantly before Mr Robert Maxwell turned the issue into one of public investigation. His particular aim has been to relate pensions law to employment, and to the situation of the individual employee or pension scheme member. the central unifying theme which he has used to make this link is the idea of pensions as deferred pay. We commend to our readers the way in which Richard Nobles has built up that discussion on a sub-structure of more traditional trusts law.

P.L.D. K.D.E. 11 July 1993 M.R.F.

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