Defined Benefit  

PFS pension transfer standard under fire for 'lack of checks'

Ricky Chan, director and chartered financial planner at IFS Wealth & Pensions, said it would be good to see the PFS being more proactive and provide feedback to firms that are doing good practice and removing the standard from those who are not.

Mr Chan said: “There needs to be more rigorous checks to ensure firms are complying with the principles and delivering good advice and client outcomes. 

“I’d like to see the PFS requesting redacted client cases from firms and [for cases to be] reviewed by an expert panel, which may include the FCA or Financial Ombudsman Service, on a regular basis providing feedback and good practice guidance and removing the gold standard from firms that fall foul of the principles or that do not give good advice. 

“But this, I imagine, would require additional resources that would need to be paid for by DB transfer firms, and support from the wider profession.”

Mr Richards said: “The gold standard is renewable annually. At the point of renewal we will be asking all advisers to reaffirm their commitment to the gold standard and its principles. 

“The PFS will also randomly check those signed up to the standard at point of renewal to check they are meeting with the requirements.”

Mr Chan said he backed the idea in principle.

He said: “The PFS is not a regulator so it does not have regulatory or enforcement powers but if support is strong enough and the public are aware of seeing a ‘gold standard’, then this could work to improve standards across the profession and lead to better client outcomes.”

amy.austin@ft.com

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