On appeal from [2015] CSIH 61.

This appeal considered whether the majority of the Extra Division of the Inner House erred in law in their interpretation of the Divorce Etc (Pensions) (Scotland) Regulations 2000, reg 4 by determining that the phrase “period of membership” referred only to the period when contributions towards a pension are being made.

The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal holding that “period of membership” in reg 4 refers to the period of the person’s membership of the pension arrangement, whether or not contributions are being made in that period. Therefore, “membership” should not be confined to active membership of pension scheme. The Court considered that reading the word “active” or “contributing” into reg 4 would depart from a sensible reading of the regulation, and would depart from the purpose of the Regulations, as the person who drafted them would have been aware of the different categories of membership in reg 3, and chose not to differentiate in reg 4 between these classes of membership.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 52
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (11 May 2017 morning session)