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Press release - PASA Administration Conference - GMP trustee checklist launched as TPR says more assertive ways to make trustees realise importance of admin needed

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 19:00

PASA launched its GMP checklist for trustees at the PASA Annual Administration Conference and Update, held in London on Tuesday.

Designed to assist trustees and administrators, the checklist identifies the points to be considered and the questions that need to be answered as part of a benefit rectification process. It’s publication comes as a survey, undertaken in partnership with ITM, revealed that 43% of those surveyed do not believe they will complete their GMP reconciliations by the end of 2018.  At present only just over a third of respondents have started on the rectification stage.

Geraldine Brassett, Chair of PASA’s GMP Working Group commented: “The number of schemes involved in rectification may still be relatively small, but this will increase as schemes approach the end of their reconciliation exercises. Rectification, requiring decisions from a range of stakeholders, can be a complicated business and five key steps that must be followed are:

  1. Due diligence, including:
  • Confirming the in scope population
  • Reviewing quality of data from the in scope population
  • Capturing important scheme information
  1. Agreeing the proposed approach and methodology for the rectification project
  2. Data cleanse: if the plan is to apply an automated solution to any rectification work then it will be important to understand, at the outset, if the scheme data will support this and, if not, to have a plan in place to correct that data prior to any calculation work being undertaken
  3. Rectification calculations, including:
  • Undertaking the calculations for the pensioner and dependant members
  • Updating the records for deferred members
  • Providing a summary of results to support the decision making process
  1. Implementation, including:
  • Issuing communications
  • Providing support in the event of queries from pensioners or deferred members
  • Making changes to payroll records
  • Updating the administration database”

Brassett added: “Our checklist will help trustees to work with their administrator to navigate the steps in the rectification process, whilst outlining the questions to be asking at each stage. PASA’s GMP Working Group is constantly monitoring issues relating to the reconciliation and rectification process, and will publish further guidance on new developments or specific issues when relevant.”

The Conference, held at Plaisterers Hall in London, looked at 2018 as ‘The Year of the Deferred’, and the line-up saw a range of key industry speakers looking at the issues surrounding the deferred community and how to tackle them . Anthony Raymond, Acting Executive Director of Regulatory Policy at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) told Conference that the pensions industry had undergone great changes in recent years and that he appreciated that it was challenging for schemes to keep abreast of new issues. This was why promoting better managed relationships between trustees and their advisers is an important part of the 21st Century Trusteeship initiative. High-quality administration makes good schemes what they are but, wrongly, many trustees saw administration as ‘chore’ rather than a valuable function. Good governance equates to better member outcomes and administration is a key part of that.

Raymond added that PASA plays an important role in driving up standards and are essential in helping develop dialogue. By pooling expertise we can develop the tools needed to help trustees appreciate the value of administration; this will mean they can reap the benefits for their scheme and, more importantly, their members.

The conference also featured talks from Equiniti, ITM, LV, Quietroom, The Pensions Advisory Service and The Pensions Liberation Industry Group, as well as members of the PASA Committees and Board.

The full checklist can be viewed here