Poor data biggest adviser issue in DB transfers

Poor data biggest adviser issue in DB transfers

Advisers find poor data provided by defined benefit schemes to be the biggest hurdle when assessing clients' suitability for transfers, according to a new study.

LCP and Royal London surveyed 400 advisers about their experiences of defined benefit (DB) transfers and found inadequate data was the most commonly cited issue.

At The Big Pension Debate today (November 8) Justin Corliss, a business development manager at Royal London, presented the research findings and said the issue was cited with a ratio of 10 to one to a range of others.

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Mr Corliss said industry institutions were working on creating a template for DB schemes to complete to hand over standardised data.

"The Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator are working together to enforce this template and improve data advisers receive – but they are not these yet," Mr Corliss said.

He added it was unfortunate the process of establishing the template was taking so long.

Advisers responding to the report also cited the new transfer value comparator (TVC) as having an "annuity at heart", which they found unhelpful when talking to clients who wanted to cash their pension in so to avoid taking the same style of regular income.

Under new pension transfer rules, which come into force in October, advisers will have to provide their clients with a value of how much the benefits in their DB scheme would cost today in the open market, which is the TVC.

This will be included in the appropriate pension transfer analysis, or Apta, which will replace the current transfer value analysis (Tvas).

Advisers also complained the regulator needed to do more to combat "cowboys" – even those scammers unregulated by the FCA – in order to protect the industry’s reputation and prevent turning clients off seeking financial advice.

The research, which was originally published in October, also found savers a decade away from retirement were only offered 57 per cent of their pension value when they transfer out.