Philip Goodchild

Head of pensions advisory

A pension law expert, Philip is well known for his work in a range of sectors, in particular corporate and not-for-profit. He advises trustees and employers on all manner of pension law issues. Philip heads up the advisory practice group at Stephenson Harwood.

Philip’s experience in advising trustees and employers ranges from advising on liability reduction exercises such as ceasing accruals and pension increase exchange. After twenty five years in the industry there is virtually no area which Philip has not dealt with.

His technical skills and knowledge of general pension issues is of an extremely high level allowing him to provide clients with practical commercial advice regarding their pension arrangements.

Philip is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and a regular commentator on legal issues affecting pension provision in the press and industry publications. He has sat on the legislation sub-committee of the Society of Pension Consultants and is a founder member of the Pension Lawyers Support Group. He regularly speaks at seminars and workshops on topical legal issues.

Philip is an accredited CEDR mediator.

Recent experience includes: 

  • Advising Trustees of the Barnardo's Staff Pension Scheme on deeds relating to the closure to benefit accruals of that fund and future benefit provision and advising the trustees on the case before the Supreme Court in relation to RPI/CPI pension increases discretion.
  • Advising the Covea insurance company UK pension fund / Horizon Social Housing on various projects to reduce liabilities and to rewrite the trust deed and rules and to assist with a project to coordinate professional adviser support across 3 group pension funds. Advising on a closure to accruals of benefit.  Philip redrafted the trust deed of the Horizon plan.
  • Providing strategic advice to the trustees of Paramount Pictures/UCI pension fund on scheme funding negotiations and advising on the implementation of several Flexible Apportionment Arrangements to deal with Section 75 debts arising under the Scheme as a result of employee movement around the group.

Philip Goodchild is very knowledgeable, easy to talk to, collegiate and confident. He is very accessible and provides the trustees with confidence that they are acting properly and in accordance with their duties.

The Legal 500 UK 2021

Pensions and the Budget 2024

UK investment and value for money

Pensions briefing – a new defined benefit funding regime

Updated draft Regulations published

Lifetime allowance abolition – an update

The abolition of the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is being undertaken in two stages. The first was the removal of the LTA tax charges from 6 April 2023. The second will be the abolition of LTA itself from 6 April 2024. Rather than a simple abolition, the LTA is in effect being replaced by lump sum allowances which will still control the level of tax-free cash that an individual can receive from registered pension scheme arrangements. On 4 January 2024, HMRC published an updated newsletter providing further guidance on the how this will work in practice.