Buck completes ‘industry’s first’ standalone GMP equalisation project

Buck has completed a ‘standalone’ guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation project with the Valliant Group Pension Scheme.

The firm stated that this was the pensions industry’s first GMP equalisation project that had been completed without the use of an existing service provider.

Furthermore, the project was the sector’s first large-scale GMP equalisation with no direct link to an insurance transaction, according to Buck.

Equalisation was completed for 4,500 pensioners through conversion using Square, Buck’s end-to-end solution.

Once the exercise was completed, 60 per cent of Valliant scheme members with GMP were found to need an uplift, ranging from ‘small amounts’ to over £1,000 a year.

Some back payments exceeded £10,000, with an average of £900 per member, according to the firm, with equalisation being completed in just over 18 months.

Buck said that its work with the Valliant Group Pension Scheme was evidence that trustees can complete GMP projects as ‘business as usual’ exercises and that they were not reliant on their existing providers.

“GMP equalisation is a complex and time-consuming task, but this doesn’t mean that schemes should wait to act, especially when their strategic journey requires the project to be completed sooner rather than later,” commented Buck UK managing director, David Piltz.

“As our work with the Vaillant scheme shows, GMP equalisation exercises concern material amounts of money for individuals and we’re delighted to have brought these long overdue benefits to the members of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme.

“Buck was the first company to market with Square, and we are proud to once again be leading the way on GMP equalisation by completing the industry’s first standalone project.”

Valliant Group Pension Scheme pensions manager, Steve Tickner, added: “Working with Buck to address GMP equalisation as a standalone project has been a remarkable success. Buck was selected by the trustees after a comprehensive review process, and the key to the project’s success has been the collaborative approach taken by Buck, the scheme trustees, and the trustees’ existing advisers.

“We are grateful for the support and commitment from Buck to satisfy our vision, as well as the focus and attention that they have brought to their work for Vaillant. Their dedication has helped us to keep the scheme on track with our other key projects, which is only possible now that the benefits for pensioners have been equalised.”

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