Pitmans has a deep, understanding of the trade union movement, the political sensitivities that underpin it and the balancing act unions have to navigate as an employer as well as a representative of your members.

We appreciate the challenges Unions face. Juggling a mission to find a middle path is not easy. Reaching a mutually beneficial coordinated response from a starting point of diverse views, is no mean feat.

Marketplace perception is key. Unions must be seen to be doing the right thing. Pitmans understands the complexities of the movement and how to work with you to deliver results that protect your reputation and build on your collective strength.

Pitmans knows how to reconcile the need to achieve cost effective pensions for staff, with the need to campaign for high quality pension provision for union members.

Our comprehensive range of specialist Pensions services for Unions are designed to help our clients to reduce risk, manage deficits, limit liability, control costs and generate savings and include:

  • Q&A insights workshops: sharing the implications of latest developments on pension schemes for unions trustees and representatives and answering questions on the spot
  • Helpline: dedicated telephone service to answer your queries as and when needed
  • “What if” roundtables: scenario planning discussions to help you tackle queries from the shop floor
  • Documentation: straightforward and plain English approach to all your documentation needs
  • Restructuring: advice focusing on providing cost saving measures covering benefit changes including closure to future accrual, the addition of DC sections and section 75 debt issues
  • Projects: merging schemes; transfers between schemes; winding-up and PPF entry; SIPPs; SSASs; QROPs and Master Trusts
  • Union merger: due diligence; pensions warranties and agreements; clearance applications
  • Pensions contracts: reviewing administration and investment management agreements
  • General advice: including legal and regulatory compliance, trustees’ powers, duties and discrimination
  • A complementary employment law advisory service for unions’ employers and employees, addressing litigation needs and the full range of non-contentious issues from pre-recruitment to post-termination.


  • Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)
  • Communication Workers Union (CWU)
  • Community (British Steel)
  • Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
  • National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
  • Unite

Case studies

Sole advisors on the ground-breaking British Steel consultation building a coordinated response to unify parties, protect jobs and employee pensions.

We worked for the trustees of a newly established pension scheme for employees of a trade union. The trade union had two existing pension schemes and wished to establish a new defined benefits scheme, for future accrual, to accept an immediate first bulk transfer of one group of employees and a subsequent transfer of a second group of employees. We created an in-depth project plan to deliver timely advice to the trustees as well as preparing member communications and managing appropriate documentation.

Establishing new, open to accrual, defined benefit schemes for two unions and acting as ongoing legal adviser to the trustees.

Merging existing union schemes into more affordable pension arrangements.


“They are diligent and very thorough. They go beyond the call of duty.”

Chambers & Partners

“They understand your needs and are always very realistic in their advice and approach.”

Chambers & Partners

“Julian has been invaluable. I could not be happier with the quality of the advice we have received and cannot overemphasise the importance of working with experts like Julian who understand industrial relations processes and the related sensitivities.”

Head of Research and Policy, Community

“The service Jonathan and his team provided was excellent, they would always go the extra mile. They are approachable, responsive and efficient, delivering the employment law answers that were needed, when we needed them.”

Regional Officer, Unite