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Sackers pleased to see GMP equalisation optimism


Sacker & Partners (Sackers), a UK specialist law firm for pensions and retirement savings, has released the results of its most recent webinar survey.

Sackers partner Janet Brown says: “After over 20 years in the making, it was starting to feel like GMP equalisation was an issue that might never end. However, our webinar survey shows that many trustees are well underway, and optimism abounds, with 55 per cent of webinar respondents expecting to be paying pensions in payment on an equalised basis by the end of 2022.

“There are clear signs that, even with resourcing demands being placed on the industry, the majority of schemes have GMP equalisation underway in some capacity. Aside from resource, the main challenges are data, tax uncertainty and a desire to get things perfect, in an imperfect world.
“Data as ever is the main challenge for many, with our survey showing that just over a third of respondents (34 per cent) have data gaps. There is not always a right answer. Our advice to trustees is to be pragmatic by comparing their data requirements against the data they hold and working out how best to fill the ‘gaps’.
“Tax is an issue for just under a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) and is a trickier problem to solve but there are ways to get round tax concerns or simply lift out from the conversion exercise those members affected.
“With people on the whole being optimistic about equalisation, it was interesting to see that in the survey responses of those considering GMP conversion, there was a clear majority for keeping the converted benefit as near to the existing structure as possible. Minimal interference in benefit design is the route to be taken by over 40 per cent of those considering conversion.

“With apologies to Kirsty and Phil’s Channel 4 Programme Love it or List It, whether you ‘Love your GMPs (dual records) or List (convert) them’, they are still a part of our pensions lives for the foreseeable future as GMP projects continue apace.”

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