Buck Bond Group

Buck successfully completes market’s first standalone GMP equalisation project for the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme

Around 60% of Vaillant Group Pension Scheme members required an annual pension uplift and received an average of £125 per year. Back payments to members averaged £900 with some exceeding £10,000.

LONDON, February 15, 2022 – Buck, an integrated HR, pensions, and employee benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm, has today announced the successful completion of the pension industry’s first GMP equalisation project to be completed on a ‘standalone’ basis (i.e. not completed by an existing service provider) for pensioners of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme. The project is also the sector’s first large-scale GMP equalisation exercise with no direct link to an insurance transaction.

The Vaillant scheme work is ground-breaking as it demonstrates conclusively that trustees can complete GMP projects as business as usual exercises and are not tied to their current providers. Buck has clearly demonstrated there’s an opportunity to drive competitive pressure and efficiency in the market for GMP services, shortening project durations, reducing fees, and improving member outcomes.

Equalisation was completed for 4,500 pensioners through conversion, utilising Buck’s end-to-end solution, Square. It’s expected that many similar large schemes will not plan to complete equalisation until 2023 and beyond.

Upon completion, Buck found that 60% of Vaillant Group Pension Scheme members with GMP required an uplift. These ranged from small amounts to over £1,000 per annum, while some back payments for members exceeded £10,000, with an average of £900 per member.

The streamlined approach to the project allowed Buck to complete equalisation in just over 18 months. This timescale included a full data audit and data cleanse alongside the equalisation calculations, supported by clear and engaging member communications from Concert, a Buck company.

David Piltz, U.K. Managing Director at Buck, comments:
“GMP equalisation is a complex and time-consuming task, but this doesn’t mean that schemes should wait to act, especially when their strategic journey requires the project to be completed sooner rather than later.

“As our work with the Vaillant scheme shows, GMP equalisation exercises concern material amounts of money for individuals and we’re delighted to have brought these long overdue benefits to the members of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme.

“Buck was the first company to market with Square, and we are proud to once again be leading the way on GMP equalisation by completing the industry’s first standalone project.”

 Steve Tickner, Pensions Manager at the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme adds:
“Working with Buck to address GMP equalisation as a standalone project has been a remarkable success. Buck was selected by the trustees after a comprehensive review process, and the key to the project’s success has been the collaborative approach taken by Buck, the scheme trustees, and the trustees’ existing advisors. As part of this, Buck has demonstrated strong technical expertise, which, coupled with pragmatism and effective project management, has enabled the project to be delivered efficiently.

“We are grateful for the support and commitment from Buck to satisfy our vision, as well as the focus and attention that they have brought to their work for Vaillant. Their dedication has helped us to keep the scheme on track with our other key projects, which is only possible now that the benefits for pensioners have been equalised.”

About Buck

Buck is an integrated HR, pensions, and employee benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm. Founded more than 100 years ago as an actuarial consultancy, we’ve evolved to serve organisations and Trustees across the health, wealth, and career spectrum.

With the ultimate goal of securing the futures of our clients’ employees and members, we develop tech-enabled programmes that engage individuals and drive organisational performance. Our award-winning engagement solutions and people-first approach empower the world’s most forward-thinking organisations to protect the physical and financial wellbeing of their employees and members and improve how their people work and live. For more information, visit www.buck.com.

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