A new service from retirement planning firm Intelligent Pensions enables advisers to outsource transfers, a useful service for those who don’t have the required FCA authorisation or don’t want the risk of handling these types of transactions. The service is aimed at advisers undertaking defined benefit (DB) to flexi-access drawdown transfers.
Starting 6 April, the government has made it mandatory for anyone moving from a DB scheme to take regulated financial advice, except where total savings are less than £30,000.
In the past six months, Intelligent Pensions has seen a 440 per cent increase in DB transfer enquiries and has had discussions with a number of companies looking at potential DB transfer exercises as a means of enhancing the balance sheet.
The company charges an initial advice and analysis fee and a set up charge to carry out the transfer. Once this is set up, advisers will then have the option to take over the new plan with full ongoing responsibility.
Alternatively, the responsibility for the ongoing advice and management of the drawdown plan can be retained by Intelligent Pensions using its own self-invested personal pension, but with the introducing firm having the option to act as investment agent, with ongoing remuneration for processing investment transactions.
This newly launched service could make it a lot easier for advisers to outsource transfers for which they would otherwise need a specialist qualification.
The FCA requires firms advising on pension transfers to have a specific permission when advising on pension transfers and opt-outs. According to a proposal from FCA, a pension transfer specialist must follow the training and competence rules, and have the necessary qualifications and with that, the permission to perform the function.
The new service highlights the importance of financial advice, one that is neglected by many UK adults, according to a number of surveys.
Intelligent Pensions also highlighted that for cases where drawdown is a more suitable option than an annuity, the critical yield will be far less severe thus making transfer more likely, although a key aspect of the advice will be assessing the client’s ‘capacity for loss’ – a core element of their drawdown advice process already.
In terms of other services offered, Intelligent Pensions enables all advisers to get involved in the area of financial advice, especially with the new requirement for specialist advice kicks in. This also gives an opportunity to the financial services industry to start rebuilding consumer confidence.