GMP conversion bill to move on to House of Lords

The Private Member's Bill on guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion has completed its third reading in the House of Commons and will move on to the House of Lords for consideration.

The Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill, introduced by Independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Margaret Ferrier, aims to clarify and streamline the GMP conversion process by clarifying that conversion applies to both earners and survivors, and outlining which employers need to give consent.

It would also enable clarification of the minimum survivor’s pension required and remove the need to notify HMRC.

The bill, which was first introduced in June 2021, has received cross-party support and support from the government.

Speaking at the report stage of the bill, Ferrier stated that the removal of the requirement for a scheme to notify HMRC if it converts GMP rights into other rights was requested by HMRC.

“The bill will simply help pension schemes that decide to use GMP conversion to do what they need to do to ensure payments are fair,” she continued.

“I have engaged positively with representatives from the pensions industry, who have long called for these changes and welcome the bill’s provisions.

“I am extremely pleased and proud that my bill will help schemes that want to use GMP conversion to correct for the effects of this issue, and I am delighted by the cross-party support I have received so far and again today.”

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, who was present at the debate, was asked by Labour MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck, for assurances over the government’s plans to consult on the changes and its planned communication of the updated rules.

Responding to the questions, Opperman stated: “I assure her that there will be full consultation on the legislation.

“There will also be broad communication, but I will write to her on that point and place a copy of the letter in the Commons Library and the House of Lords Library so that all peers and members can see it.”

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