Horton v Henry: ChD 17 Dec 2014

The trustee in bankruptcy sought to oblige the bankrupt to make a capital draw on pension fund assets in order to support an Income Payment Order.
Held: The judge dismissed the application for an IPO. The court had no power under section 310 of the 1986 Act to make an income payments order in respect of an uncrystallised pension not yet in payment: i) the word ‘entitled’ in section310(7) of the Insolvency Act suggested a reference to a pension in payment under which definite amounts had become contractually payable;
ii) there was no obvious wording in section 310 of the Insolvency Act which would give the Court power to decide how a bankrupt was to exercise the different elections open to him under an uncrystallised SIPP or personal pension; nor was there any obvious route for a trustee in bankruptcy to be said to have the power;
iii) that interpretation was supported by various commentaries, in particular the Report of the Pension Law Review Committee (Cm 2342-I), the Explanatory Notes to the WRPA and the Insolvency Service’s guidance notes as they were prior to Raithatha.
If, contrary to his decision, he had jurisdiction to make an IPO in respect of the pension entitlement, on the facts of this case, it would have been appropriate to make an IPO to the full extent claimed because, on the respondent’s own evidence, none of the moneys were needed for meeting his reasonable domestic needs or those of his family.

Englehart QH
[2014] EWHC 4209 (Ch), [2015] 1 WLR 2488, [2014] WLR(D) 551, [2015] BPIR 313, [2015] Pens LR 59
Bailii, WLRD
Insolency Act 1986 310
England and Wales
Not followedRaithatha v Williamson ChD 4-Apr-2012
A bankrupt’s present entitlement to compel payment of pension benefits fell to be included in the assessment of his income within the meaning of section 310(7) of the Insolvency Act. . .

Cited by:
CitedHorton v Henry CA 7-Oct-2016
No obligation on bankrupt to draw on pension fund
The trustee in bankruptcy appealed against a decision dismissing his application for an income payments order pursuant to section 310 of the 1986 Act in respect of income which might become payable to the respondent from his personal pension . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 27 December 2021; Ref: scu.541761