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Written by:

Kirsty Aljewicz

Read Time:

4 minutes

Published:

27 / 02 / 2024

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Explaining GMP equalisation to members

A problem shared is a problem halved, as the old saying goes.

So, when all DB schemes are facing the same industry-wide issue, why not unlock the benefits of collaboration?

Let’s face it, very few people really understand GMP, let alone GMP equalisation! And as that’s just the industry, how are our members expected to understand it?

As DB schemes gear up to tackling the problem and thinking about how to communicate this tricky issue to members, the pitfalls are clear and numerous. With c.8.9m members of DB pension schemes in the UK1, many in multiple schemes, one of the biggest dangers is for different schemes to talk to members about GMP equalisation, in different ways. If members hear different language, jargon and explanations from different schemes, then member trust will quickly be lost, and confusion will reign.

1PPF Purple Book 2023


The power of collaboration

Brightwell joined forces with communicators from some of the UK’s largest DB schemes to discuss how best to equip members across the UK to understand GMP equalisation. The GMPeasy Group was born.

The aim was to avoid pension jargon, tell the story of GMPe, and equip schemes across the industry to be able to communicate consistently on this particular issue. Joining forces with communications consultancy, Quietroom, the group worked together to produce a set of questions and answers that told the GMP story, and a member-facing animated video that explains the issue with a simple, everyday supermarket analogy. So simple it’s GMPeasy!

Crucially, the material was tested on real members to fine tune its delivery.

One thing that came out in testing was that members assumed it was only women’s pensions that were unequal, so a key message was to ensure the point that sometimes women were better off, and sometimes men.


The best things in life are free

With backing from PASA, the GMPeasy material was launched with its own dedicated B2B website at www.gmpeasy.co.uk.

We then offered to share all our materials for free, to anyone in the industry to use.

At the time of writing, more than 140 pension schemes and advisers, representing several million UK DB pension scheme members, have requested the GMPeasy material.

Brightwell has already used the wording for its GMPe adjustment letters to BTPS members and proved its success in minimising member contact rates by being clear and simple at first point of contact. The GMPeasy material deliberately has a long shelf life as different schemes will be tackling this topic for a few years to come.


Who are the GMPeasy Group?

GMPeasy is a unique collaboration between eight of the UK’s largest DB pensions schemes who got together to provide a free, member-centric solution to one of the most complex topics of the day – GMP equalisation.

The GMPeasy group are comprised of: BA Pensions, Brightwell (representing BT Pension Scheme), Coal Pension Trustees, Invensys Pension Scheme, M&S Pension Scheme, Royal Mail Pension Plan, Shell Contributory Pension Fund and Unilever UK Pension Fund. This ‘DB Supergroup’ partnered with communication consultants Quietroom, to produce a GMP communications toolkit which they have provided free of charge to other schemes and advisers.

Interested in finding out more about Brightwell and the GMPeasy group? Please contact us at hello@brightwellpensions.com.


Avatar photo

Written by:

Kirsty Aljewicz

Read Time:

4 minutes

Published:

27 / 02 / 2024

Share Article:


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