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UK retirement savers facing pension defined contribution transfer issues

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Retirement savers considering consolidating old pension schemes into new schemes are facing delays and reluctance from providers, new research from MetLife shows.

The study found nearly two out of five (38 per cent) savers who are considering transfers of old schemes have had issues, with 21 per cent saying their old scheme is reluctant to help, while 17 per cent claim their old scheme is delaying the transfer.
 
To provide further guidance, MetLife is backing the launch of the Association of British Insurer’s  Pension Dashboard, as research shows many savers are unaware of their options.
 
Research found 17 per cent of workers saving into a scheme don’t even realise they can transfer a fund from a previous job, while an additional 10 per cent say they don’t know how to do so. Findings further show that another 14 per cent think the process is “complicated and confusing”.
 
Women are more likely than men to not know about pension transfer options. Around 20 per cent of women compared with 13 per cent of men said they didn’t know they could transfer a scheme into a new employer’s pension plan.
 
The pattern is the same when it comes to not knowing how to carry out such a transfer, with 12 per cent of women admitting this compared to just 7 per cent of men.
 
Simon Massey, Wealth Management Director at MetLife UK, says: “Over the last few years huge steps have  been made to reduce transfer times which is excellent news for customers and goes some way to tackling the problems of those who may have experienced lengthy transfer delays in the past.
 
“However there is more to do to improve people’s understanding about their pensions and the options available.  It’s much easier to keep track of one retirement pot rather than numerous smaller ones and anything that makes it easier for people to transfer must be encouraged, and the Pensions Dashboard goes a long way to help achieve this.
 
“The importance of getting it right first time with pensions cannot be overstated – you only get one chance to build up a retirement pot. People should seek expert advice when it comes to their retirement – it will empower them to remove any obstacles when it comes to pensions transfers.”
 
MetLife’s Retirement Portfolio, has been specifically designed for pension freedoms providing a choice of income and capital guarantees.
 
The flexible guaranteed drawdown plan offers the potential for daily lock-ins of investment gains while enabling savers to start, stop and restart their income to suit their personal needs. Customers can choose from a range of investments to build a personalised retirement plan suited to the levels of risk they are willing to take while having the choice of a valuable guaranteed level of income for life or a guaranteed capital sum at retirement.  

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