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Written by:

Richard Ward

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5 minutes

Published:

14 / 03 / 2024

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Six top tips for GMPe success

Let’s face it, pensions administration would be a lot simpler without GMP, or GMP equalisation (GMPe).

But, as Brightwell’s GMPe project for BTPS draws to a close, we’ve reflected on the lessons we’ve learned and put together our six top tips for GMPe success.

Six top tips for GMPe success

Define your end game

Whether you’ve already started or yet to take the plunge, be sure of what you want to achieve. As well as the obvious goal of equalising members’ benefits, we also set out to ensure that all future GMPe calculations were fully automated and wouldn’t require future human intervention. We built this into the Scheme’s administration software, Procentia’s IntelliPen which is highly configurable. We didn’t want to have to re-visit this project again in the future!

Establish data breathing points

When recreating large volumes of data, don’t try to do it all in one go. It’s vital to have breathing points in the calculations where the data is in a steady state. So, break up the calculations into manageable steps, where the output of one step becomes the input for the next. This allows you stop, come up for air, take stock of what is left and keep going the right direction. For example, GMP values can be calculated and agreed before starting the comparison calculations. 

Weigh up innovation vs pragmatism

With a project of this scale, it naturally created a lot of opportunities to create new system infrastructure to address the issues it threw up. But it’s important to balance effort and reward when assigning development resource. Ideally, any new infrastructure improvements should have uses beyond this one project. 

Paying top-ups to historic transfer-outs, for example, was a one-off requirement, so it was a case of finding the easiest solution already available. But for the GMP comparison and back payments we created new, reusable processes that were not GMP-specific, giving us more tools in our toolbox for future projects.

Think about member segmentation

As with many processes in administration, it’s better for the system to do the leg work for you. It’s also much easier to calculate a deferred member’s comparison data than it is a dependant’s. Therefore, it pays to target members at the earliest stage of their journey. If you can get as many deferred members updated as soon as possible and if your system is set up correctly, you’ll never have to worry about their GMPe comparison again.

Get the right people with the right skills

For GMPe success, you need the right people on the team. They need to have the right blend of mathematical, logic and excel manipulation skills and pensions knowledge, combined with patience and resilience. Once you have the right team in place, try to ensure that they are dedicated to the project without too many other distractions.

Keep communications GMPeasy

The communications delivered as part of the GMPeasy project Brightwell were part of, made communicating an extremely complex topic super simple for BTPS members. Only 0.2% of members we contacted came back with queries, indicating that the communications were spot on in explaining the issue clearly. 

With a project like GMPe, sometimes getting started can be the hardest part. But, if you manage the risks, there’s no need to hesitate. Take a methodical and structured approach and bite the bullet! 



Avatar photo

Written by:

Richard Ward

Read Time:

5 minutes

Published:

14 / 03 / 2024

Share Article:


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