DB Transfers Template – The First Steps
On Monday 8th July PASA released the final version of the DB Transfers Templates which have become part of the more rounded DB Transfers: A Guide to Good Practice – Part 1.
The guide has three aims:
1: Improve the overall member experience through faster, safer transfers
2: Improve efficiency for administrators
3: Improve communications and transparency in the processing of transfers
(Section 3, Page 9)
TWO TEMPLATES - ONE COMMON GOAL
More specifically the guide comprises of two templates: A Scheme Information Template which is aimed at scheme administrators in order ensure detailed scheme level information is stored and accessible upon request. In addition a Transfer Template provides member level detail and is aimed at standardising the depth of information provided on a CETV statement. It is aimed an ensuring the member’s adviser has a full understanding of their benefits.
Due to the complexity and variety of Defined Benefit schemes the templates are more than just a collection of boxes that need to be filled in as they also include details of the of the type of information that should be provided for more complex schemes. This is a big improvement on the original draft templates which made little allowance for schemes with complicated benefit structures.
AN IMPROVEMENT - BUT WITH CAVEATS
If schemes adopt the recommendations of this guide in full then this is a big step forward in the quest to improve not only the detail of data provided but also the timeframe within which this comprehensive information takes to obtain. That said there is a danger that a scheme may use it as a reason not to provide any additional information about a scheme or member. It is therefore essential that schemes are open to further information queries should they be necessary.
An example of this could be that the scheme template mentions Barber Equalisation treatment but the member template does not provide splits of the relevant benefits. You then ask the scheme to issue the splits and in turn they reply that they have fulfilled their obligations to the member by providing the templates. To add insult to injury they may also insist that a charge will be applied for them to provide any additional information. This is not helpful as without the splits you may be understating the true value of the member’s benefits.
ONLY THE START OF THE JOURNEY
In light of the above help may be at hand with the second part of this guidance which is scheduled for launch towards the end of 2019. Part 2 will focus on “’non-standard’ or complex cases” and also aims to “incorporate any learnings from this first release” (Section1, Page 7).
It may just be that we are finally on the road to ensuring gathering the data necessary to provide accurate DB pension transfer advice is not the complex issue that it once was.
As always we at O&M Pension Solutions will be monitoring progress via our communications with scheme administrators when producing reports for our Transfer Bureau customers and will provide further commentary on this matter before the end of the year.
O&M Pension Solutions