Forde and McHugh Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs [2014] UKSC 14

26th June 2014

This was a test case about the meaning of “earnings” for National Insurance purposes. The appellant had contributed to a type of pension arrangement called a Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefits Scheme (“FURBS”) for its employee, Mr McHugh. HMRC argued that the money contributed to the FURBS was Mr McHugh’s earnings at the time the contribution was made to the FURBS, and thus subject to Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (“NICs”). The Appellant’s case was that NICs are payable on what the employee receives and at the time the contribution was made into the scheme, Mr McHugh had received nothing. His right to a payment in the future was contingent on a number of factors, including his survival until retirement. On 26 February 2014 the Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the arguments advanced on behalf of the Appellant and allowed the appeal.


Richard Bramwell QC, Michael Sherry and Anne Redston appeared for the Appellant. 


To read the decision click here

Associated Members

Michael Collins

Anne Redston