The growing market for pension release and liberation products has been recognised by the FSA, HMRC and The Pensions Regulator. However, yesterday’s Regulator webinar was a damp squib and failed to address the Trustees key concern.
John Newman, Pensions Director at Broadstone commented that “Trustees want to be able to say no to a transfer, where they believe that it is going to a pension liberation arrangement, and have the support of the Regulator. Trustees and the Regulator have a joint objective to protect the benefits of members. It appears that, in this instance, the Regulator is passing all of this joint responsibility to just one party, the Trustees”. He added “warning members of pensions liberation and that the transfer may not be in their best interest is one thing, but where Trustees have good reason to believe that a transfer may lead to pensions liberation they must have the power to prevent it. This must be supported by clear advice from the Pensions Regulator. HMRC and the Regulator should then be referred to arbitrate on whether the transfer is bona fide or not”.
John believes that “Trustees are caught in a dilemma. However, while the sanctions are larger if they do pay the transfer to a liberation scheme any doubt will mean the transfer will not proceed”.