Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion
Produced in partnership with David Everett of Lane, Clark & Peacock LLP
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with David Everett of Lane, Clark & Peacock LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion
  • Legal regime
  • The conversion conditions
  • Trustee powers
  • Condition 1—Actuarial equivalence
  • Condition 2—No reduction of pensions in payment
  • Condition 4—Contingent survivor’s benefits
  • Condition 5—Procedural requirements
  • 10-step process to equalise GMPs by way of conversion
  • Transfers out
  • more

This Practice Note describes and comments on the process that must be undertaken should the trustees of an occupational pension scheme with guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) liabilities wish to convert them into other defined benefits (DB benefits). The hope was that this facility, which came into force on 6 April 2009, could be used to remove the complex administrative and legislative requirements that affect GMPs and make it easier for members to understand their entitlements. However, uncertainties surrounding the application of the conversion legislation and whether or not GMP equalisation needed to be carried out (and if so, how) meant that, for a long time, this facility was rarely, if at all, used.

In April 2019, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issued guidance on a 10-step process by which the GMP equalisation issue can be addressed through actuarially comparing the benefits a man and a woman would have and converting the greater of the two into ordinary scheme benefits using the conversion legislation (see: 10-step process to equalise GMPs by way of conversion, below). As part of this equalisation methodology, the government had earlier proposed some changes to the current GMP conversion legislation so as to facilitate the equalisation of GMPs. These proposed changes are still being worked on (see: Prospective changes, below).

For information on GMP equalisation, see Practice Note: Equalisation