Schemes able to include GMP in transfer value calculations

Hundreds of pension schemes are now able to calculate transfer values to allow for guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation, JLT Employee Benefits has said.

According to the group, it has made the process available to over 700 of its clients, with 95 per cent taking advantage of the new offering, since it was introduced at the start of March.

The move follows months of deliberating by pension schemes and consultants, as to how best incorporate GMP equalisation into the calculation of transfer values.

JLT head of trustee consulting, James Auty, said: ‘We have offered this option to clients to ensure a better experience for members and those advising them, making it much easier when a member gets financial advice on their transfer value.

“JLT has also been speaking to the leading firms of independent financial advisors on the additional information they need to ensure that transfers embracing GMP equalisation can progress quickly and efficiently.”

A number of pension schemes paused the process following the High Court ruling in October 2018, as they assessed the impact it would have on their scheme.

Some schemes and their advisers have adopted a “business as usual” approach, in which they will carry on with existing transfer values, but recognising that these may only be “partial transfers” because an “uplift may be worked out later”.

Last week, analysis by Hymans Robertson found that the cost of equalising pension schemes is likely to be half of the £15bn originally anticipated by the industry.

According to research by Hymans Robertson, the cost of equalising to pensions schemes is more likely to cost around £8bn, suggesting that most companies will not see “significant” disruption to their long-term funding strategies.

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