Expertise

Catherine joined Addleshaw Goddard as a pensions Partner in 2007 and has 25 years’ experience as a pensions adviser.

Catherine has experience of a wide range of corporate transactions involving creative solutions to address both moral hazard concerns and section 75 debts triggered on sales of subsidiaries, internal reorganisations and other transfers under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations. She is head of AG’s public sector pensions team which advises on all types of public sector pension schemes including the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, NHS Pension Scheme, Local Government Pension Scheme, Railways Pension Scheme and Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, as well as the relevant pension protection regimes.

Catherine has extensive experience advising companies on all aspects of pensions law including implementing pension scheme changes and closures, dealing with tax changes, and negotiating actuarial valuations and associated contingent assets including parent company guarantees, bank guarantees, security over property and asset backed funding arrangements. 

Experience

She also has broad experience advising trustees of occupational schemes on a full range of issues including:

  • scheme mergers
  • drafting trust deeds and rules
  • documenting complex investment solutions, including asset backed funding arrangements and derivative investments through ISDAs
  • day to day issues (tax queries, pension sharing on divorce, intepretation etc.)

As well as advising on traditional final salary schemes, Catherine has experience of defined contribution schemes, career average revalued earnings (CARE) schemes, and cash balance schemes and how they have been impacted by legislative changes, and dealing with the ever increasing governance requirements.

Catherine's employer clients include Admenta/Lloyds Pharmacy, Columbia Threadneedle, Fergusson plc, Freightliner, and Samworth Brothers. Her trustee clients include the trustees of the Credit Agricole pension scheme, CGI's three defined benefit schemes, the multi-employer Citrus Pension Plan and the Unisys Public Sector Pension Scheme. 

Catherine’s recent experience includes advising:

  • Samworth Brothers on the closure of its defined benefit scheme to future service accrual
  • a large retailer on the restructure of its pension arrangements to transfer the scheme to a newco, backed by a parent company guarantee, to allow the original sponsoring employer to be sold out of the group
  • a large railways employer on the full range of day-to-day pensions issues, including changes to contribution rates as part of the actuarial valuation process
  • a company participating in the LGPS on a replacement subsumption agreement to allow it to pay reduced contributions and benefit from more favourable exit terms
  • the trustees of the Citrus Pension Plan on the restructuring of two sections of the scheme to change the sponsoring employers and on a proposal to make a bulk transfer without consent to the LGPS in circumstances where benefits would change as part of the transfer
Year Qualified
  • 1994 (Scotland)
  • 1996 (England & Wales)
Education
  • High School – Branksome Hall School, Toronto, Canada 1983
  • Civil Engineering – McGill University, Montreal, Canada 1987
  • Law – University of Edinburgh, 1992
Professional memberships
  • Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) Catherine is the chair of the APL's legislative and parliamentary sub-committee.
Testimonials

"Catherine McAllister offers a broad pensions law expertise encompassing matters such as the pensions aspects of corporate transactions, moral hazard issues and exit debts. Interviewees describe her as "technically very strong" and "a fantastic presenter." Chambers (2016)