19 May Rosalind Connor comments in Professional Pensions on BA High Court ruling

British Airways (BA) has lost a landmark trial to block its pension trustees’ decision to award a discretionary increase in 2013.

In a seven-week battle towards the end of last year, the trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) were taken to the High Court to defend a 0.2% discretionary increase – above the rate of the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) – to members in the 2013/14 year.

Rosalind Connor commented that as long as trustees document well and consider only the relevant factors, the court will look more favourably on them.

“The court has relied quite heavily on the written evidence,” she said. “That’s a lesson to all of us: write it down, write it down clearly, and make sure the minutes actually reflect what you do. Turning up in court and saying ‘I know the minutes say that but actually it’s something a bit different’ is difficult.

“They’ve also said that if you have a decision to make as a board of trustees, you have to take into account the right things and not things that are not relevant. Just because you don’t reach the same decision that someone else might reach, doesn’t mean you’ve made an incorrect or attackable decision.

“It’s quite a high bar for a court to overturn a decision.”

Read the full article in Professional Pensions here