Defined Benefit  

Ex-FSA employee warns of regulatory action on DB transfers

Several different organisations can give an indicator of the activity based on the number of transfer value analysis (TVAs) reports.

Selectapension - one of the companies that can monitor TVA activity - has reported a 66 per cent increase in defined benefit transfer cases analysed by advisers and paraplanners in 2016, compared to 2015 when the pension freedoms first came in.

It also showed the demand for transfers rose as 2016 progressed, with a 120 per cent increase in DB cases analysed in December 2016, compared with the December 2015 figures.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: "Demand for TVAs reports has increased hugely over past few years – about 800 a month at end of 2016 compared to 100 a month prior to announcement of freedom.

"Prudential provides TVAs reports requested by advisers when they are considering a defined benefit transfer. Not all TVA requests result in a transfer, but this indicates how interest in DB transfers has increased."

But transferring is not straightforward. According to Peter Bradshaw, national accounts director of Selectapension: "With full scheme information, a TVAs report can  be produced within an hour, but the whole transfer process can take months."