XPS Transfer Value Index hits all-time low

XPS Pension Group’s Transfer Value Index fell to a new record low in October, due to "continued falls in long-dated gilt yields", the group has revealed.

The index stood at £175,000 at the end of October, a fall of 3 per cent compared to the previous month end in September and a fall of 35 per cent compared to the index high of £270,000 recorded in December 2021.

However, transfer values recovered during the month from a record low of £148,000 on 10 October as long dated gilt yields hit their peak, ending the month at £175,000.

Additionally, XPS's Transfer Activity Index reached the highest rate registered in 2022, revealing that an annualised rate of 48 members per 100,000 were transferring pensions to another provider during October.

XPS also found that 96 per cent of cases reviewed by the XPS Scam Protection Service in October raised at least one scam warning flag.

Although slightly down compared to the previous month, as 97 per cent of transfers raised at least one scam warning flag in September, XPS’s Scam Flag Index continued to show that almost all cases reviewed raised flags, with overseas investment in the receiving scheme making up the majority of these.

XPS Pensions Group head of member options, Mark Barlow, commented: “Continued market volatility during October resulted in further turbulence for transfer values with the average values at their lowest level since we started the Transfer Value Index.

“Despite these falls in values, we are seeing an increase in members transferring during the month. Such an increase in transfers may be an initial sign that people are looking to draw their pension more flexibly to help them respond to the current cost-of-living crisis.”

XPS Pensions Group member engagement hub client lead, Helen Cavanaugh, added: “We welcomed the announcement that The Pensions Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Money and Pensions Service have joined forces to highlight the increased risk of scams.

“During this time of economic uncertainty, members may be more vulnerable to being exploited by scammers.

“With more members looking to transfer their pensions, trustees should remain vigilant to the risk of scams and ensure that they are acting to help prevent suspicious transfers and protect members.”

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