Marianne Thurgood

GMP equalisation can take a long time. It’s vital that your members know what to expect from you and when – and regular communication touchpoints and a timeline of events are good places to start

Marianne Thurgood

Senior Consultant

Delivering member communications

No matter your approach to equalisation, we recommend a series of communication touchpoints – direct communication with your members – supplemented by additional materials and resources housed online.

Sounds daunting? We can help. Get in touch to discuss the support you need.

GMP equalisation

If you’re carrying out equalisation without conversion, there’s one communication that’s absolutely key – the confirmation statement. It tells your members about the work you’ve been doing and notifies them of their new pension amount, plus any arrears they may be due.

Our approach is to develop a clear and concise statement that gets to the point and includes the ‘need to knows’ – not many members will want a War-and-Peace style complete history of GMPs. But some might. So your confirmation statement can send members away to online materials that provide the detail, such as background information, FAQs, videos or animations. Some members might not feel confident going online, so consider how you’ll accommodate any requests for this information in print form.

An optional warm-up communication a few months before your confirmation statement is a good way to prepare your members for what’s coming, provide reassurance, and encourage wider engagement. Why not use your warm-up communication to drive members to your website so they can get familiar with it, or request their email address so you can keep in touch via email?

GMP conversion

If you’re converting GMPs, you must consult with your entire membership. This is a multi-stage communication project requiring detailed planning. You’ll need to write to members to bookend your consultation period, plus they’ll need to receive their confirmation statement. And, as above, you could opt for an optional warm-up touchpoint before the consultation begins to lessen the shock factor.

The same principles apply here: there’s a fine line between making sure your members have all the information they need to participate in consultation, and providing so much detail that your members are left confused and worried, which can lead to unwanted noise. Thankfully, you can adopt many of the same good practice communication principles that you would for any other scheme change exercise, which we outline in our whitepaper Turning pension change consultations into engagement opportunities.

Make it clear to your members that you’re taking the consultation seriously. Regularly monitor the feedback that’s provided, and update your online content with responses to common questions. Many schemes find that – understandably – their retired members are easily worried about any possible change to their pension. Expectation management is so important here. Provide members with as much reassurance as you can about how their pension might change, and when.

The requirement to equalise GMPs has caused many a headache in the pensions industry. Give your member communications the care and attention they deserve, and you could well avoid another.

The perfect blend of large consultancy and agile communication agency, our 180-strong multinational team of passionate communicators have been helping pensions professionals and trustees help members feel different about pensions for over 25 years. Get in touch to find out how we can help you solve your member engagement challenges through communications.

Member engagement in the digital age

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Member engagement