In its assessment, the FCA found 48.1 per cent of transfers were suitably advised and only 29.2 per cent of cases were compliant with disclosure and communication standards.
Rachel Vahey, product technical manager at Nucleus Financial, said suitability was set to be the key word for the FCA in 2019 - for both advice on defined benefit transfers and other areas.
She said: "2018 was the year the FCA got serious about defined benefit transfers.
"This latest publication from the FCA is useful in quantifying the extent of non-suitable transfer advice - the next step is making sure firms have a robust defined benefit transfer advice offering."
Ms Vahey said the key was making sure the advice met the suitability standards the FCA had outlined, including collecting all the key information and carrying out sufficient analysis to back up their advice recommendation.
She added: "Firms may also want to review their charging structures to manage any possible conflicts of interest, as well as making sure they have an effective risk management process in place in line with today’s findings."