Old Mutual Wealth is partnering with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) to launch a defined benefit to defined contribution transfer training programme.
The demand for pension transfer valuations continues to grow and the vertically integrated provider revealed it had teamed up with qualifications body CII as transfer evaluation queries to Old Mutual Wealth have doubled since last August.
Figures from The Pensions Regulator found that up to 80,000 defined-benefit pension transfers were made in the year ending 31 March.
Old Mutual Wealth’s training is aimed at pension transfer specialists and features a series of training events which starts on 2 October 2017.
Scott Goodsir, managing director of UK distribution at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “Pension transfers have fast become a mainstream topic for consumers and current market practices are under review by the regulator.
“This is an area where the help of a financial adviser is absolutely invaluable, as people need high quality and suitable advice, not just for today, but for their long-term future.
“We are launching the new training programme with the CII to ensure specialist advisers have the best possible knowledge and experience to feel confident and secure in the advice they are giving.”
Several pension transfer specialists have recently stopped offering advice on this situation following talks with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Back in June, Intelligent Pensions announced it would no longer carry out advice on transfers of defined benefit pension schemes following a discussion with the regulator.
This summer the FCA proposed a range of new measures to ensure regulation around the pension transfer market is modernised so that consumers make better informed decisions.
These measures include a change to the starting assumption when advising on a transfer and an obligation to provide pension transfer customers with a personal recommendation.
At the moment the starting assumption is a transfer is unsuitable and the FCA is considering changing this to state that for most people retaining safeguarded benefits will likely be in the customer’s best interests.
The FCA has also proposed a new requirement that all transfer customers must receive a personal recommendation.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society and managing director of engagement at the CII, said: “Proposed clearer rules on advice requirements from the FCA are a welcome step in the right direction in addressing the increasingly complex issue of pension transfers, as well as ensuring firms can clearly demonstrate they have acted on the specific needs and overall circumstances of each client.
‘With this in mind, we are delighted to be working with Old Mutual Wealth in the delivery of this new good practice programme, one that we are sure advisers will welcome as they strive to meet the growing demand for advice in this area and the consistent delivery of good client outcomes in line with regulatory and consumer expectations.”