An estimated 100,000 members transferred out of their defined benefit pension schemes between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, according to The Pensions Regulator.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request on their website, the regulator said that DB schemes reported 72,000 transfers out, with an approximate value of £14.3bn, but because not all schemes have reported the exact amount, it believes the figure to be in the region of 100,000.
In a separate FOI request, the regulator said that between the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, a reported 67,700 members transferred out of their DB schemes, a figure it estimates to be closer to 80,000.
The regulator said: “Though the figures show the total number of transfers out of defined benefit schemes, it is important to emphasise that this is not a total of defined benefit to defined contribution scheme transfer, which members may have requested to access the pension freedoms for example.
“In addition some attempt has been made to identify and correct information that is erroneous or irrelevant this has been corrected, but we have not carried out a full audit of the information supplied.”
It is a requirement for DB schemes to submit a completed scheme return, but not to provide the number of transfers.
According to Xafinity Punter Southall, DB transfers could cost companies £25bn due to members transferring out in order to access pension freedoms.
Furthermore, a study by the Office for National Statistics showed an extra £21bn of assets transferred out of UK pension schemes in 2017 compared to 2016.