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Nigel advises a wide range of employers, trustees, financial organisations and individuals on all aspects of company and personal pension schemes.
He has particular experience in public sector outsourcing, The Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment (TUPE), scheme funding issues, winding-up, closing and merging pension schemes, pensions aspects of corporate transactions, establishing and amending pension schemes.
Nigel also provides advice in relation to de-risking exercises including pension increase exchange and enhanced transfer value exercises. He also has experience in negotiating and drafting pension adviser agreements (administration, investment management, consultancy, custodian) as well as providing trustee training. Nigel is also a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.
Nigel Bolton "is really great and pragmatic. He has a broad practice that includes advising financial organisations, schemes, trustees and employers in their pension matters. He is an expert on scheme funding issues, closures and de-risking exercises" – Chambers & Partners
"Nigel Bolton of Irwin Mitchell is 'very competent' according to sources. He recently advised Galloway Group on a temporary suspension of contributions to its pension scheme and a subsequent refinancing operation." – Chambers & Partners, 2014
"Nigel Bolton at Irwin Mitchell has particular experience in public sector outsourcing, auto-enrolment and scheme funding issues, as well as advising on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions." – Legal 500, 2013
It is very welcome to see that small businesses have embraced auto-enrolment and seen many benefits from its introduction. However, one of the other key findings of this research is that many SMEs also reported the need for external support when it came to its implementation and the general management.
"This is another area where smaller firms should not think they have to go it alone and we would urge them to always seek advice to ensure they are complying with the necessary regulations on pensions matters."
This research has highlighted some interesting trends and comes after another study – by HL Corporate Pensions – found that two in five employers in the UK were planning to introduce a financial education strategy for their staff.
"The upcoming changes are just the latest in a series of reforms in this area, with auto-enrolment also being a massive development. As such, many employers are having to consider taking on the responsibility when it comes to helping their workers to understand the implications of these changes on their retirement saving.
"Many employers have legacy salary based pension funds with large deficits. If there were wide take-up by members of encashment options, this could substantially reduce those deficits. Employer interest in this area can only increase therefore."
It is welcome to see this announcement emerge, although at this point there remain a number of issues around the delivery which need to be resolved.
"For example, while advice will be delivered by The Pensions Advisory Service over the phone, Citizens Advice is recruiting advisers without pensions experience to offer face-to-face advice on the issue.
"In addition, the advice will remain general, so if an individual needs information on specific circumstances they will still need to look at more specialist support from an independent financial adviser.
"The announcement has also come after another survey highlighted the continued lack of understanding that the general public have on common pensions terms, with that lack of education expected to impact on the number of people benefitting from new pensions freedoms.
"Whilst it is hoped the Guidance guarantee delivery will be successful, the jury is still out on whether it can provide the necessary capacity and understanding in a 30 minute session once it goes live. In reality many individuals will have to seek further professional advice to optimise their retirement income."
Auto-enrolment has brought significant challenges for many businesses, with educating employees on the issue being high up on the list that employers have to consider.
"Helping workers to understand the issue is a vital part of implementing the scheme, but this is just one of the factors that small firms have to consider. Auto-enrolment will have raised a large number of questions for many employers and any with doubts should consider seeking legal advice for more support on the issue."
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