Skip to main content

Your browser is out of date, and unable to use many of the features of this website

Please upgrade your browser.


This website requires cookies. Your browser currently has cookies disabled.

Number of transfers out of DB schemes in 2018/19

FOI reference - FOI-3870

Date - 7 August 2019


This time last year you kindly replied to my Freedom of Information (FOI) request (FOI-2927) asking for 2017/18 data on the volume of transfers out of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. You kindly supplied figures for the estimated number of transfers and the value of those transfers.

I would be most grateful if you could supply the equivalent data for 2018/19 under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act. I would also be grateful if you were able to provide your latest estimate of 2017/18 data on the same basis.


I can confirm that we hold information falling within scope of your request.

Information we are able to supply

For the 2018/19 scheme submission period, we estimate approximately 210,000 individual transfers from DB schemes. This is not specifically DB to a defined contribution (DC) transfers. The total value of those transfers is estimated at approximately £34 billion. This compares to similar estimates of 100,000 transfers with a total value of £14.3 billion for the 2017/18 scheme submission period.

These are estimates as not all schemes reporting that transfers took place have reported exactly how many transfers they carried out or transfer values.

Please also note that the data reported relate to transfers in the 12-month period covered by the reporting schemes’ most recent annual report and accounts relative to the effective date of the schemes’ submission of information to The Pensions Regulator.

Technical note

  • The source of our data are the annual DB scheme return.
  • We ask schemes to tell us the number and value of transfers as at the last reporting date (ie usually the latest reported annual scheme accounts).
  • The nature of the process therefore means that there is a time lag in the figures as they relate to the 12 months up to the scheme year end of the most recent report and accounts produced prior to the effective date of the scheme return submission.
  • Around 96% of the returns relate to the 12-month period up to scheme year endings between April 2017 to February 2019, ie they can relate to transfers that go back as far as March 2016. Over 50% have year-end dates of either 31 December 2017 or 31 March 2018.
  • Where data on members transferring or values of transfer are missing we have sought to model and impute missing values.
  • While the raw data were reviewed for potentially erroneous entries it is possible that some erroneous entries (eg buy-in / bulk transfers) have not been identified and are included in the reporting.