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JLT suspends ETV exercises to take account of rule changes

JLT Wealth Management has temporarily suspended current DB pension transfer exercises following the FSA’s confirmation of changes to the way transfers are calculated.

The regulator’s plans, published in April, came in a bid to make it more difficult for advisers to recommend an investor quits their defined-benefit scheme.

JLT temporarily suspended its current advice exercises on May 1. The firm is advising on the Axa group pension scheme with a deadline of May 15 originally set for the 10,000 members involved in the exercise to decide whether to transfer out of the scheme.

Axa scheme members have been told it is likely the deadline will be extended.

JLT has also suspended advice around the Phoenix Group group pension scheme. In November, Phoenix announced it was carrying out a cash-incentivised enhanced transfer value exercise with 3,200 deferred members offered up to £2,000 in cash as part of a deal to give up their guaranteed DB pension. Around 200 members have yet to make a decision.

A Phoenix spokeswoman says: “Pension transfers are currently on hold until systems have been updated. We have an exercise running with fewer than 200 people affected by the rule changes presented in the FSA policy statement 12/8. The changes came into force at the start of May and we will be communicating with this group once reporting systems have been updated to accommodate the amendments.”

In February, the regulator outlined plans to change the way pensions transfers from defined-benefit to defined-contribution schemes are calculated in a move expected to prevent benefits being undervalued by up to £20bn.

Both JLT Wealth Management and Axa declined to comment.

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Comments

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  1. David Trenner - Intelligent Pensions 15th May 2012 at 11:46 am

    The early ETV exercises seemed to take advantage of members’ need for cash and the relative attraction of ££ now against more ££ later if you lived that long.

    But most recent exercises have been more sophisticated, although regulators and government seem to have missed this.

    If the CETV is £100k, but the FRS17/IAS19 value is £160k and the full buy-out cost is £220k, then for a relatively aggressive investor an ETV of about £130-£145k looks like win win for member and employer alike. It is also good news for the trustees because on the one hand the scheme sponsor is strengthened and on the other the member benefits from the enhanced tv.

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