Trustee news

Court rules on changes to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions

The High Court has ruled that defined pension schemes like ours must ‘equalise’ pensions. This is because the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) element of some members’ pensions can be different between men and women. As a result, some members might get a top-up to the pension they receive from the Fund. Any such top-up is likely to be relatively small for most members, and won’t happen for some time. No member will see the value of their pension go down as a result of the Court’s ruling.

Any adjustments will only apply to members who built up GMP between 17 May 1990 and 5 April 1997. The Court has given scheme trustees some guidance on how to adjust pension benefits for these differences. We are currently considering the details of the Court ruling and guidance with our legal and actuarial advisers to work out what if any adjustments may be necessary to NatWest Group Pension Fund benefits. Any members who are due a top-up will be given more information once we know more.

The process of working out which members might be due a top-up is very complicated, so will take some time. We might also have to wait for any appeal of the Court judgment before implementing benefit changes. In the meantime, the Fund administrator, Willis Towers Watson, will continue to pay benefits, and provide quotations and benefit settlements as usual, in line with the existing Fund rules.

The Fund administrator has provided some questions and answers in case you want to know more about this subject. If you want to know what your Fund benefits are worth, or have another question about your pension, please contact our member helpline in the usual way by calling 01737 227549 or emailing GPFpensions@willistowerswatson.com.