Posts by Gino

Gino Rocco

The recent decision in the Lloyd’s case answered a question which has remained unanswered for decades, namely do trustees need to equalise GMPs? The High Court, made it clear that trustees are obliged to equalise GMPs. However, it is not quite “problem solved”. This is because some legal points remain to be clarified by the court. Also, the DWP is expected to provide guidance on the matter in due course but this may be delayed by Brexit, in that the government has other more pressing priorities than GMP to deal with.

Although the case provided some clear guidelines, employers and trustees will need to decide the preferred approach to GMP equalisation. There is likely to be a second hearing to decide whether trustees have full discharge on transfers-out, so trustees will have to decide how they wish to approach transfers out. Do they make a payment now or do they wait for further guidance? It would be a brave set of trustees that equalises GMPs before DWP guidance is published. There are also potential tax implications to any transfer payments which may need to be topped up at later date. The effect of all of this is continued uncertainty to a point and trustees should take legal and actuarial advice before committing to equalise GMPs.

One key thing that trustees can do is to ensure that they communicate clearly with their members about what they are doing about GMP equalisation even if they are deferring until the DWP guidance is published.

Gino Rocco

The Supreme Court has provided some welcome clarification on how a person’s rights or interests in a pension arrangement should be treated as matrimonial property in divorce cases.

Facts

The facts of the case are that Mr McDonald, who was the respondent in the case, was a member of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (the “Scheme”).

Mrs McDonald sought a pension sharing order from the Scottish Courts on her divorce from Mr McDonald, on the basis that his pension forms part of the matrimonial property which is taken into account in the financial settlement. Read more »

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