SimplyBiz’s group’s pension transfer bureau, launched in partnership with Selectapension, has transacted more than 500 cases in its first year.
The bureau, which allows advisers to outsource money purchase and defined benefit/final salary schemes for which they don’t hold relevant permissions, was created in anticipation of the FCA’s CP15/7 consultation paper. But the adviser support services group says many of the advisers using the bureau have done so even though they have the relevant regulatory permissions to process the transactions.
CP15/7 recommended changes to the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) to require that all pension transfers advice be provided or checked by a pension transfer specialist, regardless of when the transferred benefits are being accessed.
SimplyBiz Group compliance director Gary Kershaw says: “We introduced the pension transfer bureau last year in order to meet the needs of our member firms in what was undoubtedly a much more complex world, post pension freedom. The number of enquiries we received, and are still receiving, surrounding the fine print of DB and final salary schemes shows that this is a growing business area for both advisers and clients.
“A significant percentage of those who have been using the bureau hold the relevant permissions needed by the regulator, but have still made the decision to refer cases on. I believe that this is because the breadth of a holistic adviser’s role is substantial, and growing all the time, given the option of outsourcing to a specialist service, many have decided that the resulting peace of mind, as well as the time saved, make the bureau the right choice for them.”
Selectapension national accounts director Peter Bradshaw says: “Our partnership has worked very well. Despite recent press highlighting fears that people may be spending their pension money too early, demand for DB reviews continues to grow along with consumer awareness of alternative options available to them.”