GMP bill moves to committee stage in House of Commons

A private members bill on guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP) has completed its second reading in the House of Commons and will now move to committee stage.

The bill contains a number of amendments intended to allow regulations to clarify and streamline the GMP conversion process, including clarifying that conversion applies to both earners and survivors, and clarifying which employers need to give consent.

It would also enable clarification of the minimum survivor’s pension required and remove the need to notify HMRC.

The government has given backing to the bill during the House of Commons debate, with Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, thanking the MP Margaret Ferrier, who introduced the bill, for the work she has done.

He stated: "With respect, although this is a smaller bill than the 125 clauses of the Pension Schemes Bill that we took through the house earlier this year, it affects a significant number of our constituents and I am genuinely keen to progress it.

"I can therefore confirm that it is with pleasure that I give the government’s backing to the hon. Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, her bill and the work that she has done.

"The government support the bill. We wish it well in committee."

The continued passage of the bill has also been highlighted by LCP as evidence that it will now have a "good chance" of making it onto the statute book.

Commenting on the news, LCP partner and head of GMP equalisation, Alasdair Mayes, said: “This bill is an excellent start in helping to make GMP conversion simpler and more streamlined. It shows that the DWP has a good understanding of what more needs to be done to make the process easier.

“However, it isn’t the end of the journey as there is still much detail to be worked out. These changes will need to be set out in regulations on which there may be a consultation in due course.

“In the meantime, it will continue to be the case that GMP conversion will be right for some schemes and not others. Trustees and employers will have to continue to choose the approach that works for them.”

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