Third of pension schemes ‘appointed or considering appointing an IFA’

Hannah Godfrey reports...

More than a third of pension schemes have appointed or are considering appointing an IFA to support their members, XPS Pensions Group research has found.

One-in-10 of XPS’s pension scheme clients already have an appointed IFA working with them, while one-quarter (25%) are actively considering appointing one.

According to the pensions consultancy, trustees of defined benefit (DB) schemes have historically focused on the benefits provided to the scheme, but since the introduction of freedom and choice, more options have been made available to members.

Should schemes want to work with IFAs, XPS recommends trustees select an adviser who is “truly independent”, does not use a contingent charging structure, has the pension transfer specialist accreditation and has signed up to the Personal Finance Society’s gold standard for DB transfers.

XPS Pensions Group head of IFA selection team and senior consultant Simon Reddish said: “Freedom and choice has been a game changer for the pensions industry. We are seeing a growing number of trustees and sponsors looking to provide more support to help their members make the right decisions for their retirement.

“The increased level of knowledge and access to professional advice means that trustees and sponsors are in a much better position than their scheme members to select an IFA, and I think doing this can meaningfully improve member outcomes and protect schemes.”