FCA Increases Pension Transfer Scrutiny

Published / Last Updated on 19/06/2019

Financial Advisers active in the defined benefit transfer market are likely to be visited by the Financial Advice Conduct (FCA) to complete a risk assessment on the suitability of advice on these types of transfers.

The FCA plan to visit the most active financial advice firms and assess the quality of work and how they deal with defined benefit transfers. They will also write to firms that have given them reason to be alarmed by the advice they have given.  This will allow them to set out guidelines and what action firms should be taking.

The up to date information has been released today by the FCA on financial advice firms as they are concerned at the levels of people transferring out of their defined benefit pension schemes. 

FCA’s Director of Supervision, Wholesale and Specialists Megan Butler said “We are concerned by the numbers of people that have transferred out of their defined benefit schemes after being advised to when the transfers clearly were not suitable for the client.  The advice given by Financial advisers needs to be scrutinised and all advice needs to be in line with the rest of the financial advice market.

3,015 firms where surveyed by the FCA between April 2015 and September 2018:

  • 2,426 firms had given defined benefit transfer advice.
  • 234.951 members of schemes had received advice on transferring
  • 162,047 of those members had been advised to transfer out
  • 72,904 had been advised not to transfer out
  • The value of defined benefit transfer advice was £82.8 billion
  • The average value of defined benefit transfer was £352,303
  • 1,454 firms had advised 75% of their clients to transfer
  • 59,086 pension members had not proceeded with a transfer after receiving advice.

This data will give the FCA important information so they can continue to work with firms to make sure customers receive high quality advice.


We too are concerned and all clients are asked to complete a knowledge programme as well as us completing an initial assessment of their knowledge, feasibility and suitability for advice before any fees are committed to or advice works commence.

Knowledge:  Pension Transfer Gold Standard Advice Videos Channel: Learn about all you need to know in 30+ videos covering a basic introduction to pension transfers, the pros and cons, the process, what to watch out for and more.

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