Pensions news

Week ending 4 October 2019

GMP equalisation guidance

The GMP Equalisation Working Group has published guidance on the methods that could be used to equalise GMPs and how to deal with common issues. The guidance is split into three sections:

  • correcting past underpayments
  • approaches for equalising future benefit payments
  • common unanswered issues

The guidance argues that a de minimis threshold should not be used for benefits currently in payment but recognises that a different view may be possible, if schemes have taken advice. Worked examples of the various equalisation methods are included. Tax issues will be the subject of a separate guidance note, but presumably not until HMRC has issued some guidance about the tax consequences of GMP equalisation.

TPR record keeping crackdown

The Regulator has contacted 400 schemes and asked them to review their data within six months. TPR believes these schemes have not reviewed their data in the last three years. Schemes that fail to report back on their data could be subject to improvement notices and then fines. Overall, some 1,200 schemes are being written to by TPR, reminding them to carry out data reviews of both common and scheme-specific data every year.

Rothesay on a roll

Following the £4.7 billion GEC 1972 Plan deal, Rothesay Life has agreed a £3.8 billion bulk annuity covering 27,000 members of the Allied Domecq Pension Fund. Rothesay has also appealed the recent High Court decision to block the £12 billion transfer of Prudential’s annuity book to Rothesay Life.