Partial transfers should be offered to members, trustees say

Partial transfers should be offered to members in order to protect their outcomes, pension trustees have said.

Attending the XPS Pensions Group annual conference yesterday, 4 October, 75 per cent of 450+ trustees agreed that schemes should be offering them as a way of “taking advantage of these freedoms whilst ensuring their outcomes are protected”.

Partial transfers allow members to keep a portion of their income in retirement, while still being able to transfer the rest.

Speaking at the conference, XPS Pensions Group CEO, Paul Cuff, said: “In April 2015, George Osborne changed the pension world dramatically with the introduction of pension freedoms. Members were presented with a whole range of options and choices and it was clear there would be big challenges ahead.

“What we wanted to discuss at today’s conference was how pension schemes can allow their members to take advantage of these freedoms whilst ensuring their outcomes are protected.”

Furthermore, 81 per cent of trustees said education and support should be provided when transfer values are publicised on members statements, while 54 per cent thought employers and trustees should fund independent advice.

“Pension schemes are aware more needs to be done to ensure members have the right information to make informed decisions with what is likely to be the biggest pot of money they will ever own,” Cuff added.

Other measures included putting forward a low-cost default option for members to access freedoms, which 74 per cent of agreed with, while 43 per cent felt that they are not doing enough to stop members being scammed.

The Pensions Regulator executive director for regulatory policy, David Fairs, said: “Our research has shown that pension scheme governance in pension schemes, most commonly small schemes, is not where we would like it to be.

“We are focused on working with trustees to improve their service and communication to members by offering them the necessary tools to understand good practice. The Pensions Regulator wants to help pension scheme members to make sense of their options and ultimately make good decisions.”

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