TPR amends pension transfer guidance

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The Pension Regulator (TPR) has amended its guidance on pension transfer regulations that were introduced in November.

The rules ask pension providers to refer consumers for guidance or refuse a transfer if there are any clear red flags that they may be the victim of a scam.

Examples of where flags should be raised include if there are overseas investments or if there are indications an incentive may have been given to transfer.

A joint statement from TPR and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “The regulations are not intended to impose additional burdens on schemes or administrators, or to impact on standard business practices.”

And that “legislation should have no impact on the process for transfers that, prior to the introduction of the regulations would have caused no concern.”

The amended guidance from TPR addresses concerns that have been expressed about applying the regulations where overseas investments or small-scale incentives feature in the transfer.

The DWP added that it will consider the matter further and has committed to a review of the regulations. It will publish a report within 18 months of the regulations going live.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This regulation is intended to give pension providers greater power to protect people’s life savings from scammers and as long as the provider’s pension scheme rules allow, it shouldn’t add any extra red tape where a genuine transfer request is made.

“The statement is clear the regulations should not impose additional burdens on schemes and administrators and that most transfers should continue to go through without concern as long as the provider has robust due diligence processes in place.

“Those providers whose rules do not enable them to make discretionary transfers may be able to update them.”




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