Pension reciprocation schemes launch appeal

The trustees of six pension schemes used for pension reciprocation have launched an appeal against the High Court’s ruling that the arrangements are illegal.

In June last year, Money Marketing revealed The Pensions Regulator had appointed independent trustee firm Dalriada Trustees to seize control of the bank accounts of the six schemes due to concerns the loans could be legally void.

In July, a High Court judge froze over £1m of fees charged to members of reciprocation plans administered by Ark Business Consulting and two related entities.

In December, the court ruled that maximising pension value arrangements, which the schemes use to allow investors to access up to 50 per cent of the value of their pension pot before age 55, are legally void.

An appeal has now been lodged by trustee firms Athena and Minerva. A decision on whether the appeal will be heard is expected in March.

A Dalriada spokesman says: “We are not yet clear on what grounds the appeal is being made. The notice basically appeals against every argument that has been upheld in the original judgment.”

Dalriada was unable to guarantee that legal action would not lead to a further depletion of members’ funds.