A group of large pension schemes are launching what they claim to be a free service communicating changes to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions. I’m about to find out more.
There are many exciting things happening in pensions but changes to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions are not among them.
So I will be trotting down to Brightwell’s offices in America Square this lunchtime to see why people have been confused since 1990 and whether the claims of gmpeasy that they are capable of curing my GMPe queasiness, have any validity.
My old employers – First Actuarial – have always been on top of the GMP game. They have produced an excellent primer which I have re-read in advance of the meeting, so I don’t sound a GMP thicko. You can read it here.
My heart rate drops when I read this document, it should be prescribed on the NHS.
Pension people divide between those who don’t understand GMP equalisation (99%) and those that do (1%). You can tell the 1% that do – they turn up to conferences on GMP equalisation with smug smiles on their faces.
The rest of us are confused.
Google GMP and you’ll find it stands for “Good Management Practice” or is a brand of alloy wheels. So communicating GMP to a querulous pension public is a task and a half. But it’s clearly a task that occupational schemes (in conjunction with Quietroom) think worth taking on.
First Actuarial numbers suggest that GMP equalisation is likely to make rather a small difference to our pensions and won’t impact much on scheme liabilities
But in pension valuations, every basis point counts and having lived through the Lloyds GMP equalisation case, I am well aware of how much legal time has been devoted to these tiny fractions.
From a member’s point of view, GMP equalisation seems all good news
In equalising GMPs, members with GMPs built up between 17 May 1990 and 5 April 1997 may receive a small top up to their benefits. Those members receiving a pension
may also receive a back payment to compensate for past inequalities. As a result, all schemes with GMPs will see an increase in the value of their scheme liabilities.
But to get to a determination of what that top-up will be, many times the value of the top-up will have been spent in actuarial and administrative time. Believe you me, it would have been better had the GMP never been invented – let alone equalised.
So what’s new?
Today’s event will be launching a new, free to use, GMPe communications toolkit. This has been developed and funded by a collaboration of defined benefit schemes, working with Quietroom and Shula PR and Policy.
At the launch they’ll be talking through how they developed their communications and showcasing a new animated explainer that schemes can use to help explain what’s happening to members.
They’ll be sharing the content and collateral which has been kept under wraps till lunchtime today.
So by the end of today, expect to see this blog shimmering with GMP animation and me with the smug face worn by the GMP cognoscenti