Some 90% of schemes have seen an increase in the number of requests from members for transfer values over the last 18 months, according to an Aon study.
The survey - which involved 300 defined benefit (DB) schemes ranging across all sizes in February - also showed 40% of schemes saw a "significant increase."
Meanwhile, under a third (30%) of schemes said they had taken action to increase the level of automation of transfer value calculations over the last 18 months.
It further demonstrated that 16% of schemes are "just following statutory requirements," and over half (55%) said they include ‘working in retirement packs' about the transfer value option, but do not include any figures.
The same study found under a fifth (18%) said they include figures in retirement packs setting out the transfer value amount, and just one in 10 provide members with figures in the retirement packs, along with online modelling tools and/or paid for an independent financial adviser (IFA).
Aon senior partner and head of the member options team, Ben Roe, said the survey highlights that the UK's DB schemes are seeing the full effect of Freedom and Choice, with both schemes and members now having some points of reference from other schemes on the way that transfers can be undertaken.
"There is still some debate about the level of support that a scheme can or should offer, but it is clear that reducing the barriers for members to engage with advice or streamlining the process, does help ensure that members make the most appropriate decision at retirement. We fully expect that this trend will continue."
He concluded these results represent a significant difference in members' appetite for transferring and also in the mindset of schemes to how they deal with this change.
"A more standard approach - involving offering advice and avoiding the risk of members making the wrong move - is gradually evolving and this is enabling more trustee boards to feel comfortable in initiating member options exercises."
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