We are aware of one female member of staff with a pension of £2,029 per annum at age 60 who has been offered a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) of £176,000. That’s 87 times the projected pension income.
Whilst it is true that not all transfer values will have the same multiplier, the transfer values being offered by the Trustee, which are calculated by the Scheme Actuary, taking into account discount rates, inflation, GMP revaluations, market conditions and mortality rates, are worth significantly more than the commutation factors used by the pension schemes when converting pensions into tax-free lump sums. Before we discuss commutation factors and transfer values, the Union is still receiving reports from members who are experiencing long delays in getting their transfer value quotes. The new administrator should have anticipated the level of demand for CETVs and put in place contingency plans to ensure that quotes were dispatched quickly. The Trustee Board should be writing to the administrator telling it to reduce the timescale for producing quotes from 6 weeks to 3 weeks. The length of time it takes to produce quotes is important because valuations are only valid for 3 months and unnecessary delays could cause members to be seriously disadvantaged. We have also noted that in some cases there are significant differences between initial CETV estimates being provided to members and the actual quotes received once members have opted out of their pension schemes.