TPR estimates 100,000 DB transfers in 2017/18

Victoria McKeever reports...

Some 100,000 defined benefit (DB) transfers took place in the 2017/18 financial year, according to estimates by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

In response to a freedom of information request, TPR said DB pension schemes had reported approximately 72,700 transfers in the period from 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. It pointed out these transfers were not specifically into a defined contribution scheme, while the total value of those transfers was approximately £14.3bn.

It also added that not all schemes reporting that transfers took place had reported exactly how many transfers they had carried out.

Taking into account non-responses, the regulator estimated the actual figure to be in the region of 100,000. This is a 25% rise on its estimate of 80,000 between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.

In its response, TPR said: “Not all schemes have reported on scheme transfers; though it is a requirement for a scheme to submit a completed scheme return, it is not a requirement to provide the number of transfers and therefore all supplied figures are indicative only.”

British Steel Pension Scheme

TPR also shared its response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s report into the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). In it, TPR admitted it could have worked earlier with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) to address the issues that arose.

TPR said: “We accept that we could have worked more quickly and closely with the FCA and TPAS to ensure that members who had requested a transfer received clear and early communication on the risks of transferring out of a DB pension scheme.”