PASA unveiled the new guidelines at an event in London with guest speaker Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions.
Created by PASA’s DB Transfers Working Group, the ‘Guide to Good Practice’ seeks to create a framework which achieves the right balance between member protection and an individual’s statutory right to take their pension in a different shape or form, via a flexible arrangement.
PASA’s DB Transfers Guidance has three key aims:
▪ Improve the overall member experience through faster, safer transfers;
▪ Improve efficiency for administrators;
▪ Improve communications and transparency in the processing of transfers.
Margaret Snowdon, PASA sponsor of the DB Transfers Working Group, said: “We are always mindful of the delicate balance between member protection and an individual’s statutory rights, and the fact they shouldn’t be hindered when making legitimate transfers.
“There are lots of members who are right now, or could in the future, be making poor choices.
“It is in our ability, as industry experts, to help by coming together and working to implement this Guide to Good Practice creating faster, better communicated, more efficient and more cost effective approaches that scheme administrators and the industry as a whole, can execute.
“It has therefore been very reassuring that so many professionals joined our working group and under the brilliant leadership of the chair, James Ellison, worked hard to produce this guidance, taking us into new territory.
“We are especially pleased that the Pension Regulator (TPR) has been involved in the process from the outset and their work on developing the groundbreaking Transfer Template was crucial to its development.”
Welcoming the document Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Any solution must be effective across the entire pensions sector.
“This includes areas that are outside the scope of FCA regulation.
“For example, the messages that individuals get from their own pension scheme are essential, as this is often the first piece of information that they receive.
“As a professional body, our focus and guidance is to support members deliver professional standards the public can rely on, while also protecting the reputation of the profession more broadly.”
Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said: “Transfers give people flexibility when it comes to their pension pots, and they must be fast and safe.
“This guidance gives the clarity needed - for both schemes and members - to ensure they’re done efficiently and transparently. It is a must-read for anyone with a stake in the pension transfer process.”
David Fairs, TPR’s Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, said: “We welcome the launch of the PASA good practice guide for DB transfers.
“The standardised data template in particular will make the process of moving pension funds more efficient, by making it easier for savers and advisers to get the details they need to make informed decisions.
“The development of the template by the regulators and the industry working together will bring real benefits for providers, advisers and, most importantly, savers themselves.”