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Number of transfers out of DB schemes since April 2015

FOI reference - FOI 2018-05-09(a)
Date - 09/05/2018


How many people in the UK have transferred out of their defined benefit (DB) pension schemes since the start of April 2015? If possible, I would like the data broken down into quarterly intervals.


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

Information we are able to supply

We do not hold viable information requested for the period prior to 1 April 2016. For the periods from 1 April 2016 we have provided the details below.

  • 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 defined benefit pension schemes have, in total, reported 67,700 transfers out of the scheme. However, not all of these schemes have reported how many transfers they carried out. Our estimate is that there were around 80,000 transfers made (These figures were released previously under the Freedom of Information Act in May 2017).
  • 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, defined benefit pension schemes have reported approximately 72,700 transfers. However, not all schemes reporting transfers have reported exactly how many transfers they carried out and therefore taking into account non-responses, we estimate the actual figure to be in the region of 100,000.

As noted not all schemes have reported on scheme transfers; though it is a requirement for a scheme to submit a completed scheme return, it is not a requirement to provide the number of transfers and therefore all supplied figures are indicative only.

Please note that the data reported for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 are based on scheme submissions as of 16 April 2018. They 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 (TPR).

All figures above are based on data reported to TPR by pension schemes and their managers or administrators. Though the figures show the total number of transfers out of defined benefit schemes, it is important to emphasise that this is not a total of defined benefit to defined contribution scheme transfer, which members may have requested to access the pension freedoms for example.

In addition some attempt has been made to identify and correct information that is erroneous or irrelevant this has been corrected, but we have not carried out a full audit of the information supplied.