Group personal pensions
Produced in partnership with Alistair Hill of CMS
Group personal pensions

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Alistair Hill of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Group personal pensions
  • Group personal pensions—principal legal features
  • Joining a group personal pension
  • Contributing to a group personal pension
  • Monitoring and late payment of contributions
  • The Pensions Regulator’s guidance on monitoring of contributions
  • Annual payment statements
  • Group personal pension investments
  • Group personal pension benefits
  • Group personal pension—perceived advantages and disadvantages

The introduction of personal pensions in 1987 was heralded as offering new choices for self-employed and employed individuals.

However, it soon became apparent that the new product could also be marketed to employers. The group personal pension (GPP) product rapidly arose to fill this gap in the market.

At its simplest, the GPP product can be described as a series of individual personal pension plans written under a single personal pension scheme and administered by the product provider for the employees of a single employer or group of employers.

GPPs can thus be described as ‘workplace personal pension schemes’. As a result, certain requirements apply to GPPs which do not apply to personal pension schemes used outside of a workplace context. For instance, GPPs must be governed by independent governance committees (IGCs) (see Group personal pensions—principal legal features below) and restrictions apply in relation to member-borne charges. For further information on the workplace requirements applicable to GPPs, see Practice Note: Personal pensions—an introduction—Features specific to workplace personal pension schemes.

Where the underlying personal arrangements in a GPP happen to be self-invested personal pensions (SIPP), the GPP may be marketed as a group SIPP arrangement.

Group personal pensions—principal legal features

Distinction from occupational pension schemes

GPPs are typically marketed and operated very similarly to insured defined contribution (DC) occupational pensions. For example, they