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As is sometimes my want, I have been browsing the decisions of the Supreme Court (and before you say it, its been said many, many, many times – and I agree I do need to get out more).

I stumbled across the decision in HMRC v Forde and McHugh Limited [2014] UKSC 14 – hot off the press today as it happens.

The decision itself is quite important for those employers and their retired staff (mainly) who are beneficiaries under a Funded Unapproved Retirements benefits Scheme – the payments into such funds are not “earnings” for the purposes of s6(1) of the Social Security Contributions Act 1992. This is a good thing I believe – I don’t practise in this area but I can’t imagine HMRC would have pursued the matter to the Supreme Court unless it was a very important matter – it was their appeal against the CofA decision and they lost.

What I particularly like about the Supreme Court decision is the fact that Lord Hodge (giving the Judgment of the Court) not only describes HMRC’s arguments as “remarkable” (and not in a good way) but also introduces (to me at least) the concept of “the ordinary man on the underground”!

This made me smile – I’m sorry to see Ye Olde Clapham Omnibus out to pasture (and it was no doubt pulled by an ‘rose back in the day), however, I’m heartened to see a Supreme Court Judge keeping it real.

For your delectation you can access a copy of the Judgment here – the Ordinary Man can be found at para 16.