Stephen Richards

Partner

A big scheme specialist, Stephen advises employers, trustees, and master trusts on all types of pensions issues. He has a commercial style on strategic issues and brings a responsive approach on day to day matters. With the ability to present complex ideas in a simple way, Stephen has helped a variety of clients with tricky pensions issues, from the trustees of global banks to UK manufacturers.

Stephen joined Stephenson Harwood from Allen and Overy to complement our strong and growing pensions team. As a rising star in pensions law, Stephen further enhances the reputation of the firm's pension practice.

He is an expert on pensions in the banking sector, large pension schemes, Pensions Regulator issues and master trusts. Stephen has experience on major strategic projects including advising on the acquisition of a major master trust provider and the largest company contribution made to a pension scheme to date. Stephen is also a trustee so he understands what trustees need from their advisers. Stephen established the Pensions Innovation Café, and likes to present advice in a modern, user friendly way.

Stephen‘s recent experience includes advising on multiple transfers to DC master trusts and the trustees of several of the UK's major pension schemes on all day to day legal issues. He also gave strategic advice on major Pensions Regulatory issues for a FTSE 100 company as well as to a global telecoms company on world-wide pensions issues.

 

 


Stephen Richards is a very charismatic and able lawyer. He seems to be a real rainmaker – since joining the firm they have picked up some very big clients.

The Legal 500 UK 2020
Insights

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.

Court declares change of RPI to CPIH lawful

A number of pension funds have challenged the decision of the then-Chancellor and the UKSA to align RPI with CPIH. In this alert we discuss the outcome of that challenge and the impact of the decision on defined benefit pension schemes.

New approach to funding defined benefit pension schemes

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. The DWP is now consulting on draft regulations which explain what this will mean for trustees in practice. Read more to find out what trustees will be required to produce along with other changes and next steps.