Defined Benefit  

SimplyBiz bolsters DB support as demand rises

SimplyBiz bolsters DB support as demand rises

SimplyBiz has bolstered its pension transfer referral panel following increased demand from advisers in light of regulatory changes in the defined benefit space earlier this year.  

Advice firm P&B Wealth has joined the panel which carries out defined benefit transfers for advisers who do not operate in the market.

P&B Wealth holds the PFS Pension Transfer Gold Standard and also offers a free guidance programme, Money Alive, informing consumers on the pros and cons of transfers. 

SimplyBiz’s service allows advisers who are either unable to, or choose not to, operate in the DB transfer market to refer their clients to the third-party service.

Gary Kershaw, compliance director at The SimplyBiz Group, said the latest addition to the panel was in light of a recent spike in demand for its services following policy changes at the start of October.

He said: "It is vital that we maintain our high standards in this area and - I work very closely with the pension transfer bureau partners Creative Wealth Management, Grove Pension Solutions, Pensionhelp, Pension Income Planning, and now P&B Wealth, on an ongoing basis to ensure that their approach and processes continue to meet our high expectations.

"I’m delighted to welcome P&B Wealth to the group’s pension transfer bureau and am impressed with its transparent approach to giving advice in what can be a very confusing area for clients."

In October the FCA enforced the contingent charging ban, meaning a client only pays for defined benefit advice if they go ahead with a transfer.

The FCA said introducing the ban would remove the conflicts of interest which arise when an adviser only gets paid if a transfer goes ahead.

Only consumers with certain identifiable circumstances, such as those suffering from serious ill-health or experiencing serious financial hardship, are exempt.

The ban launched alongside the regulator's concept of abridged advice, which was greeted by a frosty reception, with questions over the level of uptake and concerns it would increase consumer confusion.

Abridged advice sits in between triage and full pension transfer advice but can only result in a personal recommendation to not transfer out of a defined benefit scheme.

First mooted by the FCA in a DB transfer paper in July 2019, abridged advice begins with an introductory chat with the client, where the adviser can get some high-level information about their circumstances in order to determine that they are not a viable candidate for a transfer.

Abridged advice is an attempt to allow consumers access to advice surrounding DB transfers now the contingent charging ban is in place.

The FCA hopes it will filter out those consumers for whom a pension transfer is unlikely to be suitable before they pay for full advice.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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