SimplyBiz to create DB transfer firms panel

SimplyBiz to create DB transfer firms panel

SimplyBiz added a third defined benefit (DB) transfer partner, Pensionhelp, due to an unprecedented demand in this market.

The provider of compliance and business support to financial advisers said that Pensionhelp will not be the last partner it adds, as it is looking to create a panel of DB transfer firms.

Gary Kershaw, group compliance director at the SimplyBiz Group, the firm’s parent company, said “there is an imbalance in the market around the number of clients who want - and need - advice on pension transfers, and the number of advisers qualified to provide that advice”.

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This issue is even more complex as “some advisers who are qualified to give advice on DB pension transfers opt out of doing so, generally due to resource issues or concerns about time or risk implications”, he said.

According to Mr Kershaw, the SimplyBiz Group has seen an increase in the number of advisers both achieving the right qualifications and changing their Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) permissions to allow them to take on transfer business.

He said: “Whilst this is encouraging, at an average of five advisers a month going through the process, it will not be enough to address the imbalance entirely.”

In July, SimplyBiz launched a new DB pension transfer bureau in partnership with Creative Wealth Management, after its usual partner Selectapension’s service was temporarily suspended.

A few weeks earlier, Selectapension's SBS service was suspended. A note on the company’s website stated the move was due to "unprecedented demand".

Mr Kershaw said that creating a DB transfer panel is not solely to address the volume of cases.

He said: “We have 6,000 advisers who use the services of The SimplyBiz Group. […] They work in a multitude of ways and need diversity in the range of solutions available to them – in all areas, not just DB.”

Similarly, he said, “the tens of thousands of clients working with those advisers have individual needs, plans and goals and their adviser will need to work with them to find the right steps to achieve those aims”.

The company looked at a number of potential partners both to offer diversity and to spread the workload among different providers, ending up selecting Pensionhelp.

The provider was chosen due to having a “different charging mechanism from the other solutions,” Mr Kershaw said.

“We have a thorough due diligence process in place, which we run with all potential partners in all areas of the business,” he concluded.