The regulations to enable GMPs to be converted to scheme benefits were laid on 2 April and came into force on 6 April 2009.

The regulations are in broadly the same form as the draft regulations which the DWP issued for consultation (see Pensions Update September 2008 and February 2009).

Before conversion can take place, trustees must decide what assumptions are appropriate at the conversion date, having obtained and considered advice from the actuary. The final regulations spell out that, if they later think it is necessary, they must change that decision. The actuary must use those assumptions and ignore certain amounts to calculate the actuarial values of the benefits. If the post-conversion benefits are actuarially at least equivalent to the pre-conversion benefits, the actuary must send the trustees a certificate. The final regulations prescribe that this must be done within three months after the calculations have been completed.

The regulations set out the circumstances in which, and the periods during which, survivors’ benefits must be provided after conversion. These are the same as the requirements for survivors’ benefits in existing GMP legislation