Pensions - Articles - Pension transfer activity falls to lowest level in 4 years

XPS Pension Group’s Transfer Activity Index showed that an annualised rate of 50 members out of every 10,000 transferred their pensions in December, the lowest rate since XPS started tracking this activity in July 2018.

 The Transfer Value Index also fell by 5% (over £12,000) in December to an average of £258,000, falling from a record high of £270,000 at the end of November on the previous month. The decrease was driven by a rebound in gilt yields over the course of December.

 The Scam Flag Index remained below 50% for the fourth successive month, with 41% of transfers showing at least one warning sign indicative of a potential scam or poor member outcomes. This compares to a peak of 76% this time last year.

 Mark Barlow, Head of Member Options, XPS Pensions Group commented: “We often see a slump in transfer activity over the festive period, but this is the lowest rate of transfers we have seen since we started the index in 2018. Although it’s unlikely to be affecting activity significantly yet, it’s interesting that this fall comes immediately after the introduction of the new transfer regulations, which provided trustees with the power to block transfers.

 Helen Cavanagh, Client Lead, Member Engagement Hub, XPS Pensions Group added: “Although the Scam Index remains at a high level, given all the recent focus on preventing pension scams, it’s encouraging to see a fall in the number of transfers displaying warning signs of a pension scam. With the new Government regulations in force placing more requirements on trustees, it’s important that they are able to understand the landscape of how scams might be affecting their members.

 Charts 1 and 2 - XPS Transfer Value Index and XPS Transfer Activity Index



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