Nearly half (47%) of advisers have seen an increase in clients disagreeing with defined benefit (DB) transfer recommendations, according to Momentum Pensions.
The survey of 102 advisers by PollRight, from 19 to 27 September, found nearly two out of three (63%) advisers said their biggest concern about DB business is the risk of future liabilities from contested advice.
This is where people have gone ahead with transfers, but have then come back to advisers with regret about their decision further down the line.
The survey showed 53% of advisers said their biggest fear for consumers who transfer is that they are surrendering a guaranteed income for life, while nearly half (48%) were worried customers do not understand the investment risks of moving into defined contribution (DC) pensions.
It further highlighted that 48% of advisers were concerned about the disconnect between the Financial conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) on best practice regarding DB transfers.
The FCA published its expectations on DB transfer advice in January this year, while TPR's most recent regulatory guidance on DB to DC transfers and conversions was released in April 2015.
According to Momentum Pensions' survey, 58% of advisers would back legislation to stipulate the investment vehicles DB funds are transferred into, including capital protection and hedges against inflation and volatility.
The same poll found 42% of advisers were worried about a rise in the cost of professional indemnity insurance from more transfers.
Nonetheless, 60% were concerned about the potential impact on their business if transfers were to dry up.
Momentum Pensions head of sales for the UK John McCreadie said it was a real issue for advisers faced by clients who are insistent on moving to benefit from relatively high transfer values, and the perceived increased flexibility of self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) and DC schemes.
"DB pensions offer valuable benefits and anyone transferring should be looking for choice and value from their investment selection, as well as full flexibility and a range of ways of accessing the solution."
McCreadie also argued there are some signs that transfer values are falling which could discourage clients from transferring, and the FCA focus on the market may slow the transfer flood.
He added: "But many clients will still find transfer values tempting and it can certainly make sense for some to transfer to benefit from pension freedoms which will mean the market continuing to be very important.
"Advisers are clearly wary about recommending DB transfers which will mean clients giving up a guaranteed income for life."
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