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Partial DB transfers can work - I did one, says Standard Life boss

Standard Life Abderdeen’s life and pension chief executive Barry O’Dwyer has revealed he has already taken a partial transfer of his defined benefit (DB) pension, and thinks more schemes should offer this option to members.

Speaking exclusively to New Model Adviser® editor Will Robins and Citywire’s executive chairman Lawrence Lever, O’Dwyer, 46, said he had been in the Standard Life DB scheme since he was 20 years old.

O’Dwyer said: ‘I think it is a really valuable benefit for members and I would like to see many more schemes offer partial transfers.’ He added that IFAs would welcome the facility. ‘Partial transfers can make a lot of sense for people because it allows people to lock in a basic regular income and take a transfer of the excess if you like.’

A partial transfer is where a transfer value can be taken for a portion of a member’s DB entitlement while retaining a slightly lower guaranteed income. However, not all schemes allow members to take partial transfers as it can be complex for trustees.

Former pensions minister Steve Webb has recently called for the process to be streamlined, an idea that received some support from IFAs.

O’Dwyer also tackled the steep growth in transfers following the pension freedoms. Estimate have suggested benefits worth as much as £50 billion have been transferred since April 2015. Standard Life alone reported £900 million came from DB transfers in the first half of the year.


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