As we reported last December, the Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court’s judgment in the Omega Pharma case requiring the employers to make contributions to the employees’ defined benefit pension scheme in excess of the statutory minimum funding standard in circumstances where the scheme was being wound up. Arthur Cox acted for the successful trustees.
On 10 February last, the Court of Appeal gave reasons for its decision and handed down its written judgement.
In light of the judgements in the Omega Pharma case, any employers who are considering making changes to the structure of schemes (especially where those changes relate to the closure or winding up of a scheme), and any trustees who are made aware of these changes, should seek both legal and actuarial advice on the financial impact of the proposed changes.
In summary, the outcome of the Omega Pharma case is likely to have significant consequences for the future operation of defined best pension schemes in Ireland.