The huge scale of defined benefit (DB) pension scheme transfer queries has led to more than 1400 member firms seeking guidance on the topic from The SimplyBiz Group.
According to figures from The SimplyBiz Group, the decision to provide training and face-to-face support on DB transfers, in conjunction with Scottish Widows, has been fuelled by a significant growth in the proportion of DB transfer enquiries.
Enquiries on DB transfers make up the bulk of all the 3000-plus queries SimplyBiz's pensions handling team receive each month.
As a result, over the past three months, the group has delivered a series of pension masterclasses focusing on defined benefit (DB) pension transfers to over 1400 of its member firms.
According to Gary Kershaw, compliance director of The SimplyBiz Group, the value of these pensions masterclasses has been prompted by the changing advisory landscape as a result of the implementation of pension freedoms that were introduced in 2015.
The supply of the information delivered in the masterclasses and the wider resources made available by The SimplyBiz Group includes access to a panel of DB pension specialist firms, regular bulletins and updates and use of the popular pensions technical helpdesk.
Mr Kershaw said: “It is vital for firms to understand not only the regulatory requirements surrounding this area, but more importantly, how to fully assess the options and course of action most suitable for clients.”
As the drawbacks of DB transfer schemes value continue to be made accessible in retirement communications, which has seen a marked rise in members requesting options to transfer out, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is encouraging advice firms to attend training on DB pension transfers to ensure the appropriate advice is being delivered.
This comes soon after the announcement of proposals to close the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the biggest private defined benefit (DB) scheme in the country. This could leave staff £200,000 worse off in retirement, FTAdviser reported.