Approval judgment in the Ill Health Early Retirement (IHER) case

The Judge, Mrs Justice Bacon has now issued her judgment approving the settlement in the IHER case.

A copy of this can be found here.

In summary the Judge was satisfied that the settlement is for the benefit of all represented persons (employers and members).

By way of background, the case was brought by the Trustee in February 2019 to ask the Court a series of related and complicated questions about the introduction of IHER benefits in the Fund and the changes that were made to those benefits.

The uncertainty over these questions was such that the Trustee was advised to ask the Court for directions on what the correct legal position was. This type of Court application by pension scheme trustees is typical in these situations.

As is also typical, the Trustee has taken a neutral role in the case. Representatives with their own independent legal teams that comprised solicitors and barristers were appointed to argue the case on behalf of the members and the employers.

Before the trial took place, the parties applied for the case to be adjourned to allow a settlement to be agreed. A renegotiated settlement was agreed on 18 February 2022 which allowed the hearing to go forward before the Judge on 24 February 2022 to consider whether it should be approved.

The Judge summarises the settlement process in her judgment.

As the settlement has been approved by the Court, the Trustee can now proceed with implementing it and expects to send letters to members in late March with further information.

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