TPR writes to 24 trustees over DB transfer advice

The Pensions Regulator has written to 24 trustees over risks of members transferring from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes “since the summer”, it has revealed.

Commenting on a roundtable in the Financial Ombudsman Services’s latest update, TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb said that it has been providing letters for trustees to send to members highlighting the risks around transferring and giving information to advisers.

In July, TPR confirmed it had written to 12 trustees since the beginning of the year after a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) revealed that it was contacting schemes regarding transfer activity.

Titcomb said: “Transfers from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes are unlikely to be in the best interests of many members. Therefore, we want those requesting a cash equivalent transfer value to have the information they need to make an informed decision.”

The increased correspondence with trustees around member transfers is part of the TPR’s partnership with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), Titcomb added.

“This includes providing letters for trustees for members, alerting them to the risks of transferring and giving information. Since the summer we have sent letters to 24 trustees.”

TPR said that it was writing to trustees "where there is uncertainty around the future of a DB pension scheme".

The news comes after the update from the FOS revealed that while “less than 2 per cent” of complaints were around pensions, with transfers accounting for just a fraction, pensions was a “significant proportion of the complaints” it received about advisors.

In May, responding to another FOI request, the regulator said for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, pension schemes reported approximately 72,700 transfers out, with the total value of those transfers totalling roughly £14.3bn.

However, it expects the figure to be in the region of 100,000 as not all schemes will have reported exactly how many transfers they carried out.

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