The legal position is clear. Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation needs solving. Pre-requisite steps are GMP reconciliation and GMP rectification. Where these have not been completed, they should be considered together with GMP equalisation as part of the overall GMP project.


 

Getting your GMP project right first time

For trustees or sponsors of pension schemes, there are three stages to the GMP project:

  • GMP reconciliation – agree GMP amounts with HMRC
  • GMP rectification – correct members’ benefits where GMPs have changed as a result of GMP reconciliation
  • GMP equalisation – making sure all members have benefits at least as valuable as if they had been the opposite sex

How we can help

Each of the three stages are complicated. We have a tried and tested approach to ensure we get them done right first time.

The diagram below sets out how the different stages of the GMP project fit together. Our experienced team, including a GMP specialist unit, will help you get your GMP project done. We are equally comfortable taking your project through from start to finish or picking up a subsection, whatever best meets your requirements.

Finalise rectificationon-going administrationEnd of reconciliation including FDC analysisData analysis and readinessRectification calculationsGMP equalisation/conversiondata analysis (if not completed)Rectification calculationsFinalise rectificationGMP rectificationData analysis and readinessdata analysisEnd of reconciliation including FDC analysisend of GMP reconciliationProject planningGMP project planning

GMP reconciliation

The first step in your GMP project is to finish GMP reconciliation.

Some schemes will have completed this already. Others have been waiting for HMRC to issue “Final Data Cuts” to compare their GMP records with HMRC’s records to check they marry up before signing off the GMP Reconciliation.

We have significant experience with GMP reconciliation exercises, including agreeing scheme data with the Final Data Cut issued by HMRC, and HMRC’s online GMP tool (which sometimes provide different data to each other). We are also able to provide advice and assistance to in-house administration teams who are looking for professional support in this specialist area.

"A delay in the completion of the GMP reconciliation exercise can have knock-on effects for other activities that trustees may be considering."
Tom Prime Associate, Barnett Waddingham

Data gap analysis

Before starting the GMP rectification part of the project, trustees should consider whether to complete an analysis on the quality of the data (often known as a data gap analysis).

This an important preparatory step before the GMP equalisation part of the project. Whilst it can be carried out after GMP rectification, there are some advantages of completing it at this earlier stage. This process involves identifying gaps in scheme data at both a scheme and member level and deciding how best to resolve them. Using assumptions to deal with the missing data is often the best solution.

GMP rectification

The rectification stage will make the required adjustments to members’ records and benefits which were identified during the reconciliation process.

We have developed a streamlined model to calculate and apply any adjustments to members’ benefits required as a result of reconciling GMPs. The model has been programmed on Penstream, our administration system, which is also used for the day-to-day administration of our clients’ schemes. This integration has a number of advantages including reducing the risk of errors in data extraction and importing, and providing a rigorous audit trail.

GMP equalisation and conversion

Equalising GMPs is a complicated subject. Our expert team will make the process easy to understand.

We first discuss with you the different approaches to GMP equalisation in order to agree the most appropriate method for your scheme. There is no house view or one size fits all. Every scheme is different and it is really important that this is recognised.

Once the approach has been agreed our expert team will carry out the calculations, provide clear reporting to the trustees (see sample graphs below) and a governance document setting out the approach in sufficient detail to support future transactions such as buyout.

"Barnett Waddingham has an outstanding work ethos; always keen to meet clients’ specific challenges with a sensible, personal and pragmatic approach, which sets it apart in the consultancy space. It puts member outcomes at the heart of everything it does."
Pensions Age Awards Judging panel

Communication with members

One of the most important parts of the GMP project is to make sure that the communications to members are right. This complex topic needs to be explained clearly to members, especially if pensions are to be reduced as a result of GMP rectification.

We are experienced at communicating with members in this way – primarily through DrumRoll, our in-house creative agency – and will work with you to provide the best member experience possible.

Contact us for all enquiries

For more information about the independent, expert services we provide in this area, speak to our team today.

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