XPS Pension Group’s transfer activity index has shown that the volume of defined benefit (DB) pension transfers have fallen to its lowest level in nine months, continuing the downward trend seen in March’s data.
According to the latest XPS data, an annualised rate of 34 out of every 10,000 pension scheme members transferred their DB pension in April 2023, down from 38 in March and 42 in February.
DB pension transfer rates have generally been falling steadily since 2017 when an annualised rate of 200 out of every 10,000 pension holders were transferring out.
Pension transfer values also fell to £169,000 in April, a similar level to that seen in February. The fall is down to a slight rise in gilt yields throughout April and decreasing expectations around the long-term inflation rate.
Significant numbers of transfers still flagging warning signs
In addition to the falling volume and value of transfers, vast numbers of transfers continue to flag at least one warning sign that a transfer could be a scam or lead to poor outcomes for the consumer. This number sat at 94% in April, marking the eleventh month in a row of this mark exceeding 90%.
Since November 2021, pension trustees have had the power to block or pause transfers if they feel the member is at risk. Trustees can raise a red or amber flag, depending on their concerns.
When a scam warning flag is raised, the person seeking to transfer must demonstrate they’ve received scam guidance from the Money and Pensions Service before the transfer can proceed.
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