Pensions - Articles - Third of a million used pension freedoms to access DB pots

Information from Defined Benefit pension schemes suggests that well over a third of a million people have transferred over £60 billion out of such schemes in the last three years, according to an FOI reply obtained by Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London.

 Royal London asked the Pensions Regulator to update previous estimates of the volume of DB transfers and the latest figure suggests that 210,000 transfers worth £34 billion were reported to TPR in 2018/19.

 The following table shows estimates for each of the last three years based on FOI replies:


 Sources: 2017/18 and 2018/19 figures confirmed in new FOI supplied to Royal London. 2016/17 volume figure from FOI on TPR website. Value figure for 2016/17 estimated on basis of average transfer value of approx. £150k across 2017/18 and 2018/19 data.

 Commenting, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said: “These figures show the continuing huge interest in using pension freedoms to access pension rights in a more flexible way. Although the volume of transfers has probably passed its peak, large numbers of people are still interested in seeing whether reshaping their pension benefits would be in their interests. It remains the case that staying in a DB scheme will be the right answer for most people, but there may be individual reasons why a different combination of pensions would give a better outcome. In such cases it is vital that there continues to be a supply of impartial and expert financial advice for those considering making such a big decision”.

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