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  • 1.

    What are the main statutes and regulations relating to pensions and retirement plans?

  • 2.

    What are the primary regulatory authorities and how do they enforce the governing laws?

  • 3.

    What is the framework for taxation of pensions?

  • 4.

    What is the state pension system?

  • 5.

    How is the state pension calculated and what factors may cause the pension to be enhanced or reduced?

  • 6.

    Is the state pension designed to provide a certain level of replacement income to workers who have worked continuously until retirement age?

  • 7.

    Is the state pension system under pressure to reduce benefits or otherwise change its current structure in any way on account of current fiscal realities?

  • 8.

    What are the main types of private pensions and retirement plans that are provided to a broad base of employees?

  • 9.

    What restrictions or prohibitions limit an employer’s ability to exclude certain employees from participation in broad-based retirement plans?

  • 10.

    Can plans require employees to work for a specified period to participate in the plan or become vested in benefits they have accrued?

  • 11.

    What are the considerations regarding employees working permanently and temporarily overseas? Are they eligible to join or remain in a plan regulated in your jurisdiction?

  • 12.

    Do employer and employees share in the financing of the benefits and are the benefits funded in a trust or other secure vehicle?

  • 13.

    What rules apply to the level at which benefits are funded and what is the process for an employer to determine how much to fund a defined benefit pension plan annually?

  • 14.

    What are customary levels of benefits provided to employees participating in private plans?

  • 15.

    Are there statutory provisions for the increase of pensions in payment and the revaluation of deferred pensions?

  • 16.

    What pre-retirement death benefits are customarily provided to employees’ beneficiaries and are there any mandatory rules with respect to death benefits?

  • 17.

    When can employees retire and receive their full plan benefits? How does early retirement affect benefit calculations?

  • 18.

    Are plans permitted to allow distributions or loans of all or some of the plan benefits to members that are still employed?

  • 19.

    Is the sufficiency of retirement benefits affected greatly if employees change employer while they are accruing benefits?

  • 20.

    In what circumstances may members transfer their benefits to another pension scheme?

  • 21.

    Who is responsible for the investment of plan funds and the sufficiency of investment returns?

  • 22.

    Can plan benefits be enhanced for certain groups of employees in connection with a voluntary or involuntary reduction in workforce programme?

  • 23.

    Are non-broad-based (eg, executive-only) plans permitted and what types of benefits do they typically provide?

  • 24.

    How do the legal requirements for non-broad-based plans differ from the requirements that apply to broad-based plans?

  • 25.

    How do retirement benefits provided to employees in a trade union differ from those provided to non-unionised employees?

  • 26.

    How do the legal requirements for trade-union-sponsored arrangements differ from the requirements that apply to other broad-based arrangements?

  • 27.

    What is the process for plan regulators to examine a plan for periodic legal compliance?

  • 28.

    What sanctions will employers face if plans are not legally compliant?

  • 29.

    How can employers correct errors in plan documentation or administration in advance of a review by governing agencies?

  • 30.

    What disclosures must be provided to the authorities in connection with plan administration?

  • 31.

    What disclosures must be provided to plan participants?

  • 32.

    What means are available to plan participants to enforce their rights under pension and retirement plans?

  • 33.

    What restrictions and requirements exist with respect to an employer’s changing the terms of a plan?

  • 34.

    What restrictions and requirements exist with respect to an employer terminating a plan?

  • 35.

    What protections are in place for plan benefits in the event of employer insolvency?

  • 36.

    How are retirement benefits affected if the employer is acquired?

  • 37.

    Upon plan termination, how can any surplus amounts be utilised?

  • 38.

    Which persons and entities are ‘fiduciaries’?

  • 39.

    What duties apply to fiduciaries?

  • 40.

    What are the consequences of fiduciaries’ failing to discharge their duties?

  • 41.

    Have there been legal challenges when certain types of plans are converted to different types of plan?

  • 42.

    Have there been legal challenges to other aspects of plan design and administration?

  • 43.

    How will funding shortfalls, changing worker demographics and future legislation be likely to affect private pensions in the future?

  • Updates and trends

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Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice devoted exclusively to representing management. With more than 1,200 attorneys in more than 75 offices, Littler serves as the single source solution provider to the global employer community.

View more information about Littler Mendelson, PC

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NY 10022-3298
New York
T: +1 212 583 2687
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Suite 1400
PA 19102
T: +1 267 402 3036
F: +1 267 402 7698


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