CFP Pensions: Law, Policy and Practice (W G Hart Legal Workshop 2019)

CFP Pensions: Law, Policy and Practice (W G Hart Legal Workshop 2019)
01 Jun 2018, 09:00 to 31 Aug 2018, 17:00
Call for Papers
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Academic Directors:
Dr Sinéad Agnew (University College London)
Professor Paul S Davies (University College London)
Professor Charles Mitchell FBA (University College London)

Call for papers  

State pensions are the largest item in the UK social security budget, estimated to cost £91.6 billion in 2016/17, with 12.9 million recipients. Huge funds are also managed by the trustees of occupational pension schemes on behalf of members to whom distributions are made as a form of deferred remuneration for their work; in 2015, 33.5 million people were members of such schemes in the UK. Proposed changes to pension schemes have recently prompted industrial unrest in a number of sectors, including higher education. Yet despite their social significance, and their importance in legal practice, pensions have not recently been the subject of sustained attention by legal academics. Our goal is to bring together legal scholars, scholars from other disciplines, and legal practitioners to exchange ideas and discuss issues of topical concern, and to stimulate the development of new research agendas.

In recent years, there have been many important developments in pensions law, policy and practice. For example, in IBM United Kingdom Holdings Ltd v Dalgleish [2018] Pens LR 1, the Court of Appeal issued new guidelines respecting the extent to which an employer’s exercise of powers over a pension fund is constrained by its duty to preserve its relationship of trust and confidence with its employees. At a policy level, the debate continues as to whether and, if so, what transitional arrangements should be put in place for women born in the 1950s, for whom the state pension age is being increased from 60 to 65 by 2020: D Thurley and R Keen, State Pension Age Increases for Women Born in the 1950s (House of Commons Library Briefing Paper CBP-07405, 19 February 2018). The Law Commission has completed its report on Pension Funds and Social Investment (Law Com No 374, 2017), which considers how far pension funds may or should consider issues of social impact when making investment decisions. Meanwhile, the Pensions Advisory Group has been formed under the leadership of Mr Justice Francis and HHJ Edward Hess to conduct an interdisciplinary review of how pensions should be treated on divorce. Its aim is to offer guidance to both the legal profession and the divorcing public and to encourage consistency of practice which is currently lacking in this area. The Group’s report is expected by the end of 2018.

While doctrinal developments in the field of pensions law merit attention, the Academic Directors are also keen to promote discussion of the policy context within which pensions law must function, and in the spirit of enabling inter-disciplinary discourse and collaboration, the conference will be loosely structured around several themes:
  • Occupational Pensions and the Regulatory Environment;
  • Powers and Duties of Trustees and Employers under Occupational Pension Schemes;
  • Pensions, Law and Social Change;
  • Pensions, Employment and Human Rights; and
  • Pensions, Families and Succession.


Proposals for papers from prospective contributors should be sent by email attachment no later than 31 August 2018 to:

Proposals should comprise an abstract of no more than 500 words (including references) which demonstrate engagement with one or more of the themes identified above. Proposals will be selected on the basis of originality and fit with the objectives and rationale of the workshop. We especially welcome contributions from early career researchers and papers of a cross-disciplinary nature. Potential contributors will be informed of the Academic Directors’ decision by 12 September 2018.

Full versions of accepted papers must be submitted to the Academic Directors by 31 May 2019. Papers will then be posted on the workshop website for advance reading by workshop delegates.

Following the workshop, all contributors are expected to offer their papers for publication in a book of the conference proceedings that will be published by Hart Publishing following a refereeing process.

The Academic Directors are very grateful for the generous financial support of Slaughter and May.

Registration fees may be charged to workshop delegates, but not to contributors of papers.

For general enquiries or if you are simply interested in attending the Workshop, please contact:

Belinda Crothers,
Academic Programmes Manager
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies,
17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR.



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