Glasgow-based IFA Intelligent Pensions has agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to stop carrying out defined benefit (DB) transfers.
The firm provided a DB to defined contribution (DC) pension transfer service to its own clients as well as to other advice firms who wish to outsource pension transfer business.
However a note on Intelligent Pensions’ page on the FCA Register said the firm was to: ‘Immediately cease to provide advice in relation to the transfer, or conversion, of safeguarded benefits under a pension scheme to flexible benefits.’
In a statement sent to New Model Adviser® a spokesperson from Intelligent Pensions said the change in permissions was a ‘voluntary agreement’ with the regulator.
‘Following discussions with the FCA we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily suspend offering advice and arranging DB transfers,’ the spokesperson said.
‘We are working with legal and compliance experts and remain confident that our recommendations and advice process deliver good outcomes for our clients and that we will be able to demonstrate this to the FCA quickly.’
In March Intelligent Pensions announced its longstanding technical director David Trenner was retiring. Trenner was replaced by former Royal London pension specialist Fiona Tait.
Intelligent Pensions is the latest in a series of firms to have their pension transfer permissions changed.
In April New Model Adviser® found 16 firms had voluntarily agreed to stop activities relating to pension transfers in 2016.
In a note published by the FCA earlier this year the regulator stated its intention to release a consultation paper on DB transfers.
'Firms may be considering versions which involve transferring safeguarded benefits such as DB to DC transfers in which case there are additional considerations to take into account. We are expecting to publish a consultation paper on advising on safeguarded benefits in due course,’ the FCA paper said.
The FCA declined to comment further than the information on Intelligent Pensions FCA Register page.