As GMP equalisation projects get going in earnest for many ongoing schemes and experience has built across the industry with schemes that have needed to go ahead already (for example due to winding up), there are some recent helpful developments:
1. Further guidance from HMRC on conversion and on dealing with historic transfers, issued on 6 April 2022
2. Clarifying amendments to conversion legislation being made via a private member's bill which is expected to pass relatively soon, with regulations to follow.
Whilst the HMRC guidance confirms that its work is ongoing in relation to conversion considerations, it has provided helpful guidance on pensioner members and members leaving service before 6 April 2006 in particular. It also confirms that there can be issues with deferred member carve out (DCMO) for deferred members, but suggests there might be further legislation in this respect. Fixed protection is noted as another area schemes must consider.
Regarding historic transfers, there is clarification that former members with a right to a transfer top-up are treated as "deferred members" for tax legislation. It also confirms that various lump sum payments can be considered as well as a transfer top-up to the original or a different scheme. For schemes looking to close off historic transfer issues in order to wind up, this guidance will be particularly useful.
Whilst some areas of uncertainty remain, there is a good basis to get going on most if not all schemes at this stage.
We have a good deal of experience in this area and are able to advise on all aspects of the process. If you would like to know more, please contact your usual Burges Salmon contact or Alice Honeywill
Our recent webinar on GMP equalisation can be viewed here.
As a result of the judgment in the Lloyds 3 case, scheme administrators may also need to take corrective action in relation to transfer payments previously paid which were calculated on a basis that did not take account of the adjustments needed to eliminate GMP-related inequalities. This guidance relates to the tax issues that arise in respect of such corrective actions. We’re also providing an update and guidance for those schemes choosing to equalise using the GMP conversion method