In an interesting and closely-argued judgment, the Pensions Ombudsman has ruled that trustees were quite within their rights to ignore the question of equalising Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs), which replace part of the State Second Pension.
In the case, Mr Kenworthy had argued that the GMP in his pension had not been equalised as the Scheme Actuary had used the wrong calculation. The Ombudsman disagreed, saying that there were several different ways to equalise pensions, and until Parliament decided on one way, any acceptable way - which in the case was to do nothing - would do.
The problem with GMPs is that they are payable to women from age 60, whereas men have to wait to age 65. European law, in the famous Barber case, established in 1990 that pensions for men and women have to be equalised. While the Government fully accepts that GMPs are part of a pension and therefore should be equalised for men and women, no legislation has yet been issued stating how this should be done. It does remain on the radar as the Government has recently said it is still very much on the DWP’s “to do” list. But with so many other things to attend to, just how high up it is remains to be seen!