Defined benefit (DB) schemes should provide more comprehensive information when calculating cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) to reduce delays, according to Rathmore Financial and Royal London.
Currently, savers receive a CETV from their scheme and then have a three-month window to gain additional information and advice for a transfer analysis. However, delays in this process can mean savers will need to acquire a new CETV.
This new value costs the saver additional money and may be less favourable than the initial quote. The slow process could also mean advisers are providing out-of-date and incorrect information to their clients.
Rathmore chartered financial planner Floyd Fombo said the current system puts savers and advisers at risk.
"In the 11-plus years that I have been involved with reviewing DB schemes, I have not once known a DB administrator to provide all the required information at first request," he said. "It is also rare to have this by the second, sometimes even third request.
"If any of the request information is missing, we cannot accurately complete a transfer value analysis and as such this will result in incorrect critical yields being generated, which would mean we would be providing advice on flawed numbers, putting both the client and the advisory firm at risk."
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has now been called on to consider whether the process can be better streamlined, and if schemes should be required to provide the information when a CETV is initially requested.
Royal London director of policy Sir Steve Webb added schemes and savers would benefit from a more streamlined process.
"It is deeply frustrating for scheme members and advisers when the process of providing advice on a transfer drags on, and particularly if a new quote has to be prepared," he said.
"While DB pension schemes are under pressure because of the volume of transfer requests, it would probably save them time in the long-run if they provided comprehensive information alongside the transfer value quotation, rather than have to keep replying to follow-up queries.
"I hope that TPR will look closely at how to speed this process up."
A TPR spokesperson said: "We expect the majority of transfer requests to be completed well within the statutory deadline. These are maximum timescales.
"Trustees can support members in a number of ways to ensure they have the information they need to make a fully informed decision. This includes responding to adviser requests for information. Advisers should be provided with information ordinarily available to a member including summary funding statements, details on benefit structure, or funding level of the scheme."
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