Pension FreedomMay 29 2018

Public sector pensions hit with 3,000 transfer complaints

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Public sector pensions hit with 3,000 transfer complaints

Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner and managing director of Informed Choice, said that there is a good chance this increase in complaints relates to public sector scheme members not being allowed to transfer if their plan is unfunded.

He said: "With a lot of news about pension transfers from other schemes, members of unfunded schemes in the public sector might be feeling short changed by their inability to give up a guaranteed pension income for a cash equivalent transfer value, to exercise their pension freedoms.

"Even if transfers from these schemes were allowed, in practice it probably isn’t a good idea to move anyway.

"The rise in complaints could also relate to poor scheme administration and service. There’s been a great deal of pressure on pension scheme administrators since pension freedoms were introduced and gilt yields fell, inflating cash equivalent transfer values.

"The workload for scheme administrators has risen sharply and their capacity doesn’t appear to have changed very much. This means longer waiting times for queries and transfers to be completed, so more complaints in this context aren’t surprising."