Pension Flexibilities: Impact on DB schemes six months in

People are undoubtedly taking advantage of the new pension flexibilities available to defined contribution (DC) pension scheme members – with the Association of British Insurers reporting that over £4.7 billion was withdrawn in April and May 2015 alone.

However, have these changes had an impact on defined benefit (DB) schemes? Members of a DB scheme would currently need to transfer their pension to a DC arrangement to access these new flexibilities. Many members will be interested in this option, so it has been portrayed as a great opportunity for sponsors of DB pension schemes to reduce risk and potentially cost.  However, our research suggests that only a minority of the schemes allow a partial transfer of defined benefits, despite the evidence that increasing numbers are enquiring about exercising their options.

We have put together a detailed note that will be useful to employers in formulating a DB strategy to maximise any opportunities presented by the new more flexible pensions regime.

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