Four in five (83 per cent) defined benefit transfer requests have raised one or more warning flags, according to XPS Pensions Group.
The firm’s scam flag index recorded May to have the highest number of scam warnings in the tracker’s history, up from a near record high in March.
This is an increase of roughly 30 per cent since the beginning of 2022.
XPS Pensions Group client lead, member engagement hub, Helen Cavanagh, said: “We continue to see the rate of potential scam activity referrals tick up.
“The majority of transfers reviewed are now assessed against the new transfer value regulations, with the overseas investments flag registered in three quarters of cases where a flag was present.”
The group’s Transfer Value Index also identified that May’s month-end average transfer value was £217,000, the lowest since June 2016.
Source: XPS Transfer Activity Index
The fall of 7 per cent over May was due to a further increase in gilt yields and a further fall in long term inflation expectations, despite the continued current high inflation rates.
After a six-month period of decline, the rate of members completing transfers recorded by the XPS Transfer Activity Index rebounded slightly to an annualised rate of 37 members per 100,000.
|Jun 2021||Jul 2021||Aug 2021||Sep 2021||Oct 2021||Nov 2021||Dec 2021||Jan 2022||Feb 2022||Mar 2022||Apr 2022||May 2022|
|XPS Transfer Value Index (£000s)||248||260||259||251||260||270||258||253||249||245||232||217|
|XPS Transfer Activity Index (%)||0.75||0.64||0.62||0.62||0.56||0.59||0.50||0.47||0.40||0.38||0.35||0.37|
|XPS Scam Flag Index (%)||55||54||47||46||47||50||41||50||65||70||78||83|
Source: XPS Transfer Watch over the past 12 months
XPS Pensions Group head of member options Mark Barlow, added: “It is interesting to see a small uptick in members completing a transfer during May, despite the continued slide in transfer values.
“This could be a response to the cost of living crisis, highlighting the importance of providing support to members to ensure they don’t make an uninformed decision or leave themselves susceptible to scammers.”
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