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Eversheds Sutherland plays key role as Clara becomes first DB consolidator to complete Pensions Regulator assessment process

  • Global
  • United Kingdom

    01-12-2021

    The first DB consolidator to pass The Pensions Regulator (TPR) assessment has been named as Clara, with global law firm Eversheds Sutherland playing a key role in acting for the Clara Pension Trust in the process.

    Clara, the member-first consolidator for defined benefit pension schemes, is the first to pass the rigorous tests of its model, governance structure, key personnel and financial sustainability among other criteria by TPR and appear on the list of assessed defined benefit (DB) superfunds.

    As a vital part of the process the pensions team from Eversheds Sutherland - spearheaded by partners Emma King and Jeremy Goodwin, legal director Charlotte Cartwright and principal associate James Ellis, together with members of the Eversheds Sutherland banking, commercial and corporate teams – acted for the Trustee of the Clara Pension Trust in this matter.

    When a scheme transacts with Clara, its assets and liabilities will be supported by Clara’s capital, thus securing a managed journey to the ultimate endgame of an insured buy-out. Only after Clara has fully secured promised benefits for its members will there be any financial return to its capital providers.

    Adam Saron, CEO of Clara-Pensions, said: “This has been a remarkable team effort. Clara was founded more than four years ago on the belief that consolidation could make pensions safer and support UK businesses. Today’s approval marks an incredibly important step forward in our journey to provide safer pensions. Clara’s member-first model is ready for transactions.

    We now turn our attention to our first transactions and our first pension scheme members. We’d encourage trustees, employers and advisers considering consolidation to get in touch to discuss their options, as we plan our transactions for the coming year.”

    Alan Pickering, Chair of the Clara Pension Trust said: “Today’s decision is one to be welcomed. It is good news not just for Clara but also the whole pensions sector. Our role as trustees is to ensure that Clara remains member-first and offers safer pensions. We’ve been closely involved in engagement with The Pensions Regulator to demonstrate the strength of our role and that member interests are at the heart of the Clara model. We look forward to providing better outcomes for members as we welcome them to Clara.”

    Emma King, partner at Eversheds Sutherland, said: “Acting for the Clara Trustee has been ground breaking work and sets forward the next step towards a new, wider range of options for pension trustees that can give more security for members.”

    Jeremy Goodwin, partner at Eversheds Sutherland, said:The completion of the rigorous and thorough approval process demonstrates the security of Clara’s model, which serves as a bridge to the insured market for UK defined benefit pension schemes and their members.”

    The Pension Regulator’s DB superfunds list can be found here.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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