Client feedback


In my experience, not all professional trustees are able to cope with tricky or potentially confrontational situations. I find PSGS has massive experience in getting involved, earning the respect of others and resolving such issues. They get stuck in – they are a first rate team.
Katherine Dandy,
Partner at Sackers & Partners
​I would recommend them to anyone - I have dealt with a number of other independent trustee firms and would rate PSGS as the best. We are very happy with Mark and the service we get.
Julia Morton,
Camellia plc
The team provide an excellent service with practical and commercial input that we have not found with anyone else.
Mark Culwick,
Binding Site
The trustee training course covered a wide variety of subjects which gives a good basis for future discussion and decision making during trustee meetings.
Jean-Paul Gobel,
Heerema
The Trustee training was very interactive and the presenters were engaging - thank you.
Nick Marsh,
Comet Pension Scheme
​I enjoy working with PSGS and we have a very positive relationship. I was new to pensions and found them very helpful.
Bruce Allison,
RTUK

4 top tips to help you manage GMP equalisation

Over 60% of the schemes we work with say guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation is one of their top three challenges over the next couple of years. Across the industry in general, there’s been a ‘wait and see what others do’ approach to the issue. We’re definitely in the ‘it’s time to act’ camp.

PSGS’ Edwin Bruce-Gardner recently summed up a pension trustee’s perspective of GMP equalisation in three points:

  1. A low level of additional pension.
  2. Huge cost.
  3. Realising how poor the pension administration data is.

We know this makes GMP equalisation feel a little scary to some pension trustee boards. To help make your journey smoother, here are a few tips from the PSGS team from GMP reconciliation and equalisation projects we’ve already completed.

Tip 1: you need expert project management

Your pension trustee board needs to focus on high level strategic principles and any red lines you need to draw, not get bogged down in technicalities. To achieve this, set up a sub-committee to deal with the detail – and make sure it is led by someone with both the technical knowledge needed to manage advisers effectively and project management expertise.

Tip 2: to manage the cost, you need to manage your advisers

Don’t get me wrong, advisers are critical to a successful GMP equalisation project. Just don’t leave the whole project to them, otherwise costs may run away. By using all the knowledge and expertise available to your trustee board (for example through your professional trustee, if you have one, or experienced scheme secretary) you can take care how and when you use advisers and keep fees contained.

You need joined-up working between the trustee board, scheme actuary, legal adviser and your pension administrator. Work through the pros and cons of alternative solutions with your advisers and find the best solution to minimise future administrative risks and complexity.

Tip 3: focus on hard numbers and the impact on members

Involve the pension scheme sponsor throughout the process to make consultation straightforward. We’ve found having employer nominated trustees on a board to be a significant benefit in a GMP equalisation project. By sharing the employer’s views, they can significantly speed up decision making, helping the trustee board find the ‘right’ road quickly.

Ensure members with protection don’t face tax issues by considering legal aspects early on. We also suggest batching members - the majority of cases will be straightforward and minor matters can be dealt with by your sub-committee, so the wider pension trustee board can concentrate on significant decisions.

Tip 4: member communication is crucial

Deliver a clear message to your scheme members, tailored with their specific pension information, so they can easily see the impact on their pension.

To be sure members receive that consistent message, task your experienced project manager (see tip 1) to deal with non-standard queries. Also set up the new payroll figures concurrently so pensioner members receive the revised amount you said in the letter they’d be getting in their very next pension payment.

If you’d like to learn more about how to work through a GMP project, take a look at our GMP equalisation case study. It shows how you can complete the project on time, highlight and resolve issues quickly and, potentially, make significant savings compared to the initial expected cost.

 

 

Back to opinions

 

Hot topics


Are we ready for the buy in/buy out boom?
Image of Hot Topic author Claire Teagle, Divisional Director

Many defined benefit (DB) pension schemes that, at their triennial valuation three years ago,...

Read more »


The beauty of transactions
Image of Hot Topic author Suzi Lowther, Director of Marketing & Communications

We’ve just had a team day – and it was so nice to see people in person and finally (properly)...

Read more »


More opinions »


Call: 0118 207 2900

online enquiry