The firm's analysis reveals that there are currently 5.9m non-pensioner members in private sector DB schemes.
BW says if 2% of them want advice each year, a realistic figure, this will mean around 120,000 members requiring advice annually for the next few years.
The consultancy's ‘DB to DC transfers’ series revealed that the level of transfer values has rise by around 50% in the last decade driving up member-initiated demand for transfer values.
According to the Barnett Waddingham 2019 Big Schemes Survey, 95% of schemes in the survey saw an increase in transfer volumes from 2018 to 2019, with a third of schemes seeing transfer volumes triple.
The Pensions Regulator has estimated that between April 2016 and 2019, there were approximately 400,000 transfers from DB schemes and that approximately £47bn was transferred out between April 2017 and 2019. Most of these are likely to have been transfers to DC arrangements.
Barnett Waddingham said that the increase in demand combined with a decline in the number of advisers would lead to an advice 'capacity crunch.'
The professional services consultancy also noted that without support, it can be difficult for members to understand all their DB pensions options.
However, BW also estimated that following the ban on contingent charging and the ensuing upfront cost of advice, demand from individuals for transfer advice could fall by over 50%.
The industry is split on its response to the FCA’s ban announced last week on most contingent charging on DB pension transfer advice. A number of critics have rounded on the FCA for reducing access to DB transfer advice at a time when the Coronavirus crisis could mean more people were considering transfers.
Simon Taylor, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said: “We are expecting increased interest in transfers from scheme members, as the effects of Covid-19 on the economy become clearer and furlough schemes end.
"Some older employees who have the ability to transfer will be looking to their defined benefit deferred pensions as a way of accessing additional income. In order to do this, they need to take advice from a regulated adviser, but the number of advisers who can give this advice has plummeted, and will continue to do so in the face of increased regulation and professional indemnity insurance costs.”