John Cormell FIA

Principal and Senior Consulting Actuary

John is Head of GMP Equalisation alongside his primary role as Scheme Actuary to a number of clients. He is also the firm’s DB SSAS expert.

John advises a range of trustee boards and UK businesses on their defined benefit pension schemes including scheme funding, PPF levy issues and accounting disclosures.

John is putting together the firms approach to carrying out GMP equalisation and conversion and is excited about the possibilities for genuine pension simplification that this may bring.

Clients appreciate John’s pragmatic approach, clear advice and desire to find solutions to guide them through the pitfalls of running a defined benefit pension scheme.

Significant experience:

  • John led Barnett Waddingham’s participation in the PPF’s pilot GMP equalisation exercise in 2011/2012, discussing the methodology and feeding back comments to the PPF actuaries. The pilot was a success and led to the PPF formalising their methodology at the end of 2012 to be used for all schemes going into the PPF. John also drafted the industry wide standard PPF GMP equalisation report which was used between 2013 and 2016.
  • John has taken the lead in guiding pension schemes through PPF assessment periods since 2008, using his experience to help develop internal guidance and standards for the firm
  • advice to a range of clients relating to the running of their defined benefit pension schemes including funding, negotiations between trustees and employers, de-risking exercises, overseas parent companies, multi-employer schemes, special purpose vehicles and putting in place protection (Primary, Enhanced, Individual) for high paid employees
  • helping clients reduce their PPF levies including understanding the Experian scoring system and identifying possible areas of mitigation

Other expertise:

John is the firm’s expert on Defined Benefit SSAS’s (Small Self Administered Schemes) and has been setting these up for new clients in recent years with a particular focus on managing Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance issues.


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