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Penny has considerable experience in all pension matters, with a particular focus on advising companies, international firms and their pension trustees, on their UK pension arrangements. Penny also has extensive experience of advising charities on their pension arrangements and high net worth individuals on the 2015 pension flexibilities.
"Bringing clarity and good knowledge" - Chambers & Partners 2017
"The 'amazingly good' Penny Cogher of Irwin Mitchell has strong experience advising companies and trustees on a broad range of pensions matters." - Chambers & Partners 2016
“Penny Cogher’s advice is always well thought out and she has an excellent grasp of pension legislation” - Chambers & Partners 2014
“Penny Cogher provides practical advice based on solid knowledge of the client’s industry and the relevant areas of the law, while taking into account business needs” - Legal 500 2013
Each such discrimination case that is brought is broadly the same. They are about more generous public sector pension benefits being provided for people who are closer to retirement when a new scheme is introduced. Claimants bring age discrimination claims and equal pay claims and then women and black/ethic minorities bring indirect sex discrimination and race discrimination claims.
What is interesting about the police and fire-fighters age discrimination cases is that there is an added argument that once a worker reaches around a certain age, it becomes physically difficult and potentially dangerous for them to do their job so, the agreement is, they should be able to retire earlier than other workers. In theory this should make it less easy for their employer to be able to objectively justify changes to their retirement ages and pleading financial necessity may not be enough as a defence. Both aspects of these claims will be heavily scrutinised.
“The world of pensions is a minefield at the moment, with continued changes in legislation and regulation including pension funding, mastertrusts and pensions fraud and we have been working hard to keep our clients up to speed. We are delighted to have been recognized for this role.”
"Once again we see a Chancellor targeting the wrong end of the housing market, and promising to spend a lot of money to little purpose.
The government set a target of building 1 million new homes over the five years of this Parliament. A present rate of construction, they will be at least 300,000 homes short of the target.
Even if this cash injection delivered an extra 140,000 homes, it would not bridge the shortfall from the target the government is already missing.
More likely, measures such as cash for homes etc. will simply further bid up the price of the existing inadequate supply, so much of Mr Hammond's funding will simply transfer money from the taxpayer to the house builders, with little additional housing to show for it.
Disappointingly, there was no mention at all of retirement housing. Mr Hammond could have had a far greater effect on supply of housing if he had incentivised the construction of retirement living and care homes. If just half of the elderly people who say they want to downsize their property were to do so, that would release 3,500,000 homes onto the market. That is something like five Parliaments' supply at current rates of construction.
The land take for such a construction program will be far less than needed for a comparable supply of ordinary housing and much of it could be on brownfield site instead of on the Greenfields that NIMBYs hold so dear."
"The Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill contains some useful provisions. At the micro level, councils currently make excessive use of pre-commencement conditions, often in circumstances where they are unnecessary. We regularly see consents with more than a dozen such conditions. Since each must be signed off before a lawful start can be made, the developer is at the mercy of the least efficient council or stakeholder officer determining any one of the applications to discharge the conditions. But we will need to see the legislation to see if it will be effective.
"It is difficult to get excited about a “National Infrastructure Commission”. At the end of the day, the level of infrastructure we invest in (and whether the nation can afford to do it, or not to do it) is essentially a political decision. We have seen with the on-going, and still unresolved, debate over South East airport capacity that kicking the can down the street to an independent body – however well qualified - only delays the date of that political decision.”
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