ECJ ruling could cost UK pension funds £160bn, top financier warns

Edmund Truell believes that Thursday’s ECJ judgement could be “catastrophic” for the UK economy.

A landmark European court ruling this week on pension bailout funds’ obligations could cost the UK £160bn and force the winding-up of Britain’s pensions lifeboat, a senior City financier has warned.

Edmund Truell, the founder of the Pension Superfund and former Chairman of the London Pension Fund Authority, has told Sky News that the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) judgement could be “catastrophic to the wider UK economy”.

He claimed that it could also trigger the closure of every one of the UK’s remaining defined benefit pension schemes.

Thursday’s ruling by the ECJ centres on a case brought by Gunther Bauer, a former employee at a now-insolvent German company, in which he claims that, under European law, pension bailout funds have no right to reduce retirement benefits.

The UK’s bailout scheme, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), covers the majority of DB schemes’ liabilities when their sponsors go bust – most notably in cases like that of BHS, which collapsed in 2016, sparking a furious row over the role of Sir Philip Green, the chain’s former owner.

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