The High Court in England ruled on 26 October 2018 that all Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) benefits in UK pension plans must be equalised for males and females. The outcome of this judgement will affect any UK defined benefit scheme which has been contracted out of the State pension arrangements resulting in members of the scheme having a GMP. We believe that this means over 80% of UK defined benefit (DB) schemes are impacted.
Trustees will need to take action to rectify the inequality, and there are a number of different methods available to achieve this. Depending on the method adopted, trustees and plan sponsors can have the ability to substantially reduce the complexity that has built up and perpetuated over 40 years. In order to do so, it will require close working between trustees, plan sponsors, administrators, actuarial advisors and legal advisors, along with clear communication with members. However, a successful outcome for the effective implementation of GMP equalisation could be simpler, equalised benefits that are better understood by recipients.