Pensions Minister calls for industry backing of shorter DC transfer periods

Written by Talya Misiri

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman has called for the support of the pensions industry to implement quicker defined contribution transfer periods.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers’ retirement conference this week, Opperman said that while transfer time between DC schemes is “often good”, more can be done to quicken the process.

Opperman detailed that many schemes are signed up to standards and platforms that enable routine DC transfers in 10 to 12 days.

“I applaud the work the ABI is doing along with other industry bodies to look at setting shorter target transfer times for routine transfers.

“I personally favour an end-to-end time scale of no more than a few weeks,” he said.

Opperman added: “I’m hopeful that the transfers and re-registration industry will deliver that and I encourage all pension schemes to get on board with the work they are doing to standardise and simplify approaches to allow faster, routine, DC transfers.”

Also considering defined benefit schemes, following on from the DB white paper, the Pensions Minister noted that the Department for Work and Pensions “genuinely believes” that “most” of DB schemes are working well, but reiterated that it “will not tolerate reckless behaviour”.

The DWP will be consulting on the DB consolidation later this year, Opperman added.
Additionally, the DWP intends to publish its response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s recommendations, including default pathways, in June.

Moreover, the Minister reiterated his support of the pension freedoms, stating that there is a “need to make the case that these freedoms around pensions is a good thing” and backed the introduction of a mid-life MOT with this.

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