Practice Areas

Employee Pension Benefits

Our Office has paid special attention to the Employee Pension & Benefits restructuring of existing pension plans as well as the development of a significant number of Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) which exist in Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition, the tax implications and tax efficiencies achievable in the restructuring exercise aforementioned have also been a matter of close study.

We advise extensively on pension plan and ESOP issues and have initiated the 4 major cases to come before the High Court in relation to the disposition of pension fund surpluses.

Republic Bank Ltd. v. Trinidad and Tobago (BWIA International) Airways Corporation
(Landmark ruling involving the repayment of pension fund surplus to the employer)

Gomez & Haskell v BWIA & Ors.
(Claim by members of Pilots’ Union to entitlement to part of monies remaining after disposition of surplus of the BWIA Pension Plan)

Pierre & Clarke v First Citizens Bank & Ors.
(Claim of breach of trust by members of the NCB pension plan against the trustee for use of the surplus of the plan by way of a contribution holiday without granting enhanced benefits to pensioners; Matter settled by enhanced pensions being granted)

Eugene Lopez v Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago and Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Trust Company Limited
(Claim by former employees of Textel that the Company’s plan should be wound up and the surplus distributed to them; claim by individual on behalf of beneficiaries under a pension plan to share of surplus of pension fund; Court made landmark order for pre-emptive costs to be paid out of pension fund to enable the Claimant’s attorneys to pursue the claim)

Christopher Felix v Republic Bank Limited and Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited
This was a claim by the former employees of Trinidad and Tobago Methanol Company, now known as Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited, that the company's Pension Plan should be wound up and the surplus distributed to the members; Claim the individual on behalf of beneficiaries of the pension plan to share of pension fund. Case successfully concluded of the two years by consent order which embodied winding up of plan and distribution of part of surplus to beneficiaries under the plan.