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Watch the Webinar: Indexation and the courts’ recent wrestles with RPI

Outer Temple Chambers collaborated with Richard Gibson of Barnett Waddingham LLP to look at the current and future actuarial and legal landscape of inflation. Watch the recorded webinar here.

What is the outlook for inflation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and the various government support schemes for businesses?

Will there be renewed pressure on schemes to explore options to switch out of RPI-based escalation?

A run of cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court since 2012 have confirmed that in principle scheme powers may be available to switch from RPI to CPI, following the lead taken by the State schemes (and the statutory minima for revaluation and LPI increases) in 2010. But these decisions have also suggested that there is a high degree of sensitivity to the exact drafting of scheme rules.

Outer Temple Chambers teamed up with Barnett Waddingham LLP to look at the current actuarial and legal landscape and to discuss how receptive the courts might now be to exercising scheme powers to change indexation provisions.

Topics discussed

There have been four important High Court decisions on RPI/CPI in the first half of 2020 – Britvic, Atos, Arup and Thales (2) – and each of them featured one of our panel as junior counsel. They discussed:

  • Is there an inbuilt bias to RPI in scheme rules stemming from the way the LPI legislation (s51 of the Pensions Act 1995) is framed?
  • Where escalation provisions are messily or inconsistently drafted, how do the courts resolve the inconsistency? Are the courts predisposed in favour of or against RPI?
  • Are the courts attracted to dynamic interpretations of scheme provisions which are able to flex with technical changes to inflation indices over time?
  • All indices are living things, which undergo changes in composition and compilation methodology: are the courts able to react sensibly and sensitively to these changes?

The webinar is useful to all lawyers working with occupational pension schemes, whether their focus is contentious, advisory or transactional.


Chaired by Andrew Spink QC, the panel included:


Watch the Webinar


Find Out More

You can find out more about Barnett Waddingham LLP here.

If you would like to discuss our legal expertise in the field of pensions or speak to any member of our Pensions Team, please contact Matt Sale on +44 (0)20 7427 4910 or Peter Foad on +44 (0)20 7353 6381.

Webinars & Recordings 28 Jul, 2020


David E Grant KC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2022

Lydia Seymour

Call: 1997

Philip Stear

Call: 2018 (Solicitor since 1997)

Nicholas Hill

Call: 2008

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