DB transfer rates ‘remain stable’ as quotes decrease

The take-up rate of defined benefit transfers remained stable at 30 per cent in the 12 months to June 2018, despite a decline in quotation rates, LCP has said.

Quotation rates fell to 6 per cent of deferred members in 2018, its lowest rate since Q3 2016, and compared to 8 per cent over 2017, as concerns around the quality of member advice continues.

Despite this, take-up rates improved by 2 per cent on the 28 per cent recorded for the 12 months to June 2017, and were highest for older members who recorded a 37 per cent take up rate for members aged 55 and over.

LCP, which delivers a quarterly update on the 78 schemes for which it provides pensions services, also found that the take-up rates of transfer values which are requoted within a 12-month period were 78 per cent.

Take-up rates were highest for transfers over £250,000 at 42 per cent.

According to the consultants, it paid out £65m for quotes provided in Q2 2018, with an average size of £401,000. At its peak, Q1 2017, the group paid out £92m to an average size of £627,000.

In December, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued an update on its investigation into the defined benefit transfer market, which said it was still “very concerned” that too many firms were not providing suitable advice on transfers.

The FCA found less than 50 per cent of the advice it reviewed was suitable, noting that two firms ceased providing transfer advice, while two more altered their business model, following the regulator’s assessments.

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