SimplyBiz Group has appointed Aviva Financial Advice to its defined benefit (DB) pension transfer referral bureau panel.
The bureau is an outsourcing option for advisers who are either unable to, or choose not to, operate in the DB transfer market, but still want to meet the needs of their clients.
Aviva Financial Advice launched an abridged DB advice service in November 2020. SimplyBiz member firms will be able to access both this and the full advice proposition through the bureau.
SimplyBiz Group compliance director Gary Kershaw said he expected demand for DB transfer support to grow in 2021 as more firms exit the market.
“Policy change and growing consumer interest in pension transfers during 2020 meant that we needed to increase the amount of regulatory support we were providing to our member firms in this key area.
“Expanding and strengthening the bureau panel is another layer of support, ensuring that we are helping firms who are unable to, or have chosen not to, provide advice on pension transfers themselves still deliver good outcomes to their clients.”
He added: “Aviva Financial Advice’s breadth of experience and dedication to exceptional customer service is renowned within the sector, and I was particularly impressed by the fact that each adviser in its DB team holds the PFS Gold Standard.”
Aviva Financial Advice managing director Mary Harper said: “There are many reasons why some firms are no longer willing to offer advice on DB transfers, but, if a customer wishes to review the whole of their wealth and retirement strategy, it is an incomplete picture without considering what is the best choice for them if they have a DB pension as part of their retirement savings.
“We are delighted to be able to offer a DB advice service if customer and adviser find themselves in that position.
“We are all agreed on the need for our industry to work towards closing the advice gap, to ensure best possible outcomes for customers. We hope that making more advice more widely available will be a part of that.”