100,000 defined benefit pension holders transfer out in 2017/18

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has revealed that an estimated 100,000 members transferred out of their defined benefit (DB) pension schemes between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.

In its response to the FOI, the Regulator said that DB schemes reported 72,000 transfers out, with an approximate value of £14.3 billion, but that the number could be higher as not all schemes were required to report the exact number of transfers.

Thanks to a similar request, TPR has also revealed that from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, a reported 67,700 members transferred out of their DB schemes, although again the figure could be closer to 80,000.

In its response, TPR said: “Though the figures show the total number of transfers out of defined benefit schemes, it is important to emphasise that this is not a total of defined benefit to defined contribution scheme transfer, which members may have requested to access the pension freedoms for example.

“In addition, some attempt has been made to identify and correct information that is erroneous or irrelevant. This has been corrected, but we have not carried out a full audit of the information supplied.”

A similar study published by the Office for National Statistics showed an extra £21 billion worth of assets had been transferred out of UK pension schemes in 2017 compared to 2016.

Link: Number of transfers out of DB schemes in 2017/18