Pensions trade body launches DB transfers guidance
The Pensions Administration Standards Association has today launched its guidance on defined benefit transfers. The template has been created in cooperation with the pensions regulator and announced today at event in London with the pension minister Guy Opperman as a guest speaker.
Created by PASA’s DB Transfers Working Group, the trade body says that its Guide to Good Practice “seeks to create a framework which achieves the right balance between member protection and an individual’s statutory right to take their pension in a different shape or form, via a flexible arrangement.”
PASA’s DB Transfers Guidance has three key aims:
- Improve the overall member experience through faster, safer transfers
- Improve efficiency for administrators
- Improve communications and transparency in the processing of transfers.
PASA sponsor of the DB transfers working group Margaret Snowdon says: “We are always mindful of the delicate balance between member protection and an individual’s statutory rights, and the fact they shouldn’t be hindered when making legitimate transfers.
“There are lots of members who are right now, or could in the future, be making poor choices. It is in our ability, as industry experts, to help by coming together and working to implement this Guide to Good Practice creating faster, better communicated, more efficient and more cost effective approaches that scheme administrators and the industry as a whole, can execute.
“It has therefore been very reassuring that so many professionals joined our working group and under the brilliant leadership of the chair, James Ellison, worked hard to produce this guidance, taking us into new territory.
“We are especially pleased that the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been involved in the process from the outset and their work on developing the groundbreaking transfer template was crucial to its development.”
Minister for pensions and financial inclusion and MP Guy Opperman adds: “Transfers give people flexibility when it comes to their pension pots, and they must be fast and safe. This guidance gives the clarity needed – for both schemes and members – to ensure they’re done efficiently and transparently. It is a must-read for anyone with a stake in the pension transfer process.”
TPR’s executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice David Fairs says: “We welcome the launch of the PASA good practice guide for DB transfers. The standardised data template in particular will make the process of moving pension funds more efficient, by making it easier for savers and advisers to get the details they need to make informed decisions.
“The development of the template by the regulators and the industry working together will bring real benefits for providers, advisers and, most importantly, savers themselves.”