UK - A High Court test case involving the Ilford Pension Scheme will determine if trustees owe any duties to the Pension Protection Fund, lawyers said.
The case - brought by Independent Trustee Services - will also decide if trustees could, or should, factor in the existence of the lifeboat fund when taking decisions.
Taylor Wessing partner Mark Smith, acting for ITS, said the case would have significant consequences for the industry.
He explained the Ilford scheme was underfunded when the sponsor, a photographic firm, went into administration in 2004.
ITS proposed to buy an annuity policy and combine that with compensation payments from the PPF to ensure members received as much of their promised benefits as possible.
Smith said ITS needed legal direction on whether it could go ahead because the "novel proposal" was affected by a number of issues that had not been tested.
He told PP: "There are underlying issues for the pensions industry. All sorts of decisions could be affected, the result could shape the way trustees take decisions, like how best to invest scheme assets."
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior associate Charles Magoffin said the case posed the court with a dilemma and had the "potential for a very unattractive outcome either way".
He explained if the court rules trustees do not have to consider the PPF it leaves the lifeboat open to abuse.
However, Magoffin added the alternative - that trustees do have to consider the PPF - was "potentially more unattractive" as it would add to the risk and burden already placed on trustees.
He said the PPF would look to The Pensions Regulator should it face abuse; however, the watchdog has no power to intervene over scheme investment strategy. And he warned this could lead to the government further extending the regulator's powers.
The PPF said it would be inappropriate for it to comment on an ongoing court case.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and will listen to the experiences of steelworkers when transferring their pensions away from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) next week in Port Talbot.
Just Group has acquired a 75% stake in the holding company of Corinthian Pension Consulting in a bid to strengthen its professional defined benefit (DB) advisory services.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has exercised its production order power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the very first time as part of a fraud investigation.
The ITN Limited Pension Scheme has named Trafalgar House as its administrator for an initial term of five years.