DWP issues GMP factsheet following PHSO recommendations

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a factsheet on the impact of guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) indexation changes, with user testing of the updated communications so far “in the main, positive”.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, in 2019, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) partially upheld complaints made by two individuals against the DWP regarding the way information was communicated after changes to GMP indexation policy came in with the new state pension.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee chair, Stephen Timms, recently wrote to the DWP to follow up on this, seeking answers as to how the department has complied with the PHSO's recommendation to provide clearer information on the transition.

In response, DWP permanent secretary, Peter Schofield, confirmed that a fact sheet has been prepared to meet two recommendations made by the PHSO; explaining the policy change in a straightforward way and giving others who may have felt the same injustice as that reported by PHSO the opportunity to come forward.

Furthermore, as requested by PHSO in November 2020, the factsheet has undergone user testing and a survey, with DWP stating that the response rate to the survey of seven from a poll of 40 individuals was "typical for this type of work and content", and that user testing results were, "in the main, positive".

The user testing team also highlighted challenges around engaging individuals on state pension related matters, clarifying however, that this is a situation that can only get easier as we move further away from the complexities of the old scheme.

The factsheet will be user tested in live running and will be formally reviewed six months after publication.

In addition to this, Schofield confirmed that the DWP has apologised, paid the complainants and notified the PHSO, as required under the recommendations.

However, in relation to the WPC’s recommendation that the government should not rely on “general awareness campaigns or happenchance” in promoting understanding, Schofield stated that it is "not feasible" for the department to advise members of the public about how changes to the law affect their own particular individual circumstances, and that this should fall to independent professional pensions advisers.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

Podcast: The benefits of private equity in pension fund portfolios
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which stock markets have seen increased volatility, combined with global low interest rates has led to alternative asset classes rising in popularity. Private equity is one of the top runners in this category, and for good reason.

In this podcast, Munich Private Equity Partners Managing Director, Christopher Bär, chats to European Pensions Editor, Natalie Tuck, about the benefits private equity investments can bring to pension fund portfolios and the best approach to take.

Podcast - The power of three: Using Common Contractual Funds to improve tax outcomes for investors
Large asset owners are still investing in equities in a way where they are taxed on their income. The implication is that they get a poorer return. They need to, and can, improve this, but how?

In this podcast, AMX Head of Client and Manager Development, Aaron Overy, and AMX Product Tax Specialist, Kevin Duggan, discuss with European Pensions Editor, Natalie Tuck, about three options to help ensure good withholding tax outcomes for institutional investors.
Mitigating risk
BNP Paribas Asset Management’s head of pension solutions, Julien Halfon, discusses equity hedging with Laura Blows

Europe’s pensions challenges
Francesca Fabrizi meets Matti Leppälä, Secretary General and CEO of PensionsEurope, to discuss the key aims and objectives of the association today.