Following a landmark legal ruling, occupational pension schemes are required to equalise pensions for men and women for the effects of GMP that were contracted out of the State pension scheme.
Using our scheme knowledge and specialist expertise, Willis Towers Watson can help successfully implement your GMP equalisation project.
Set the strategy
The legal judgment has provided a number of possible routes for schemes to implement GMP equalisation. We can work with you to identify what a good outcome looks like for you and your members and work to your preferred timescales, taking into account the other important projects you have ongoing.
Lay the foundations
One of the first steps is to understand the scale of the issue to be addressed. You will also want to prevent the backlog of cases that need revisiting from getting any bigger where possible.
We can provide an initial assessment of your member data for GMP equalisation purposes, alongside a review of relevant historic Scheme information, decisions, terms and review of administration system processes. We can also assist by identifying which members are likely to be affected by the ruling, ensuring you have all the information you need to make strategic decisions.
Using our Pension Valuer software, schemes are able to pay equalised transfer values for deferred members. This means you are able to fully discharge your liability to these members and reduce the number of cases you need to revisit.
Address the gaps
Once the scale of the issue has been identified, the next step is to get ready to implement your chosen solution. This involves resolving your missing data items where practical, making pragmatic assumptions where possible and creating new data fields where required.
It also includes amending your administration processes and calculations to ensure that once you have calculated the updated pension amounts, they can be used on a day to day basis without impacting on the member experience.
The ultimate aim of your GMP equalisation project is to pay the correct, equalised benefits and any backpayments due to members. In order to do this, you will need to perform all of your calculations using your chosen method, following a robust well documented process.
Pension schemes should make sure that the new automated administration processes are implemented, including the pension increase process. Alongside this, a clear communication strategy should be implemented that explains the benefit changes and any options available to members.
We are ready and available to assist. Please contact your Willis Towers Watson consultant to plan your next steps.