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

Changes to the Lifetime Allowance


Following the changes to the Lifetime Allowance ("LTA") regime effective from 6 April of this year, we have some more clarity on how these changes will operate in practice and on the implications for individuals with Enhanced Protection or any of the Fixed Protections. In this briefing we highlight three key points.

The Pensions Regulator consults on new funding code

Back in our July briefing we discussed how the Pension Schemes Act 2021 provided for a framework for a new defined benefit funding regime. In particular, the framework would require defined benefit schemes to have a funding and investment strategy for the purpose of ensuring benefits under the scheme can be paid over the long term.

Pension schemes and inflation

In the 12 months to August 2022, RPI has increased by 12.3% and CPI 9.9%. With this recent significant rise in inflation, employers and trustees have been asking what the impact of this is upon their defined benefit pension schemes. Members are also concerned that, against high inflation and a 'cost of living crisis, their pensions will maintain their value in real terms.