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Scheme return data for 2019 2020 and earlier

FOI reference - FOI-4762
Date - 3 June 2020


As you state below, can you provide the scheme return data for 2019/20 and any previous financial year. It doesn’t have to be broken down quarterly.


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

Information we are able to supply

For the 2019/20 scheme submission period, we estimate approximately 96,000 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 £26 billion.

This compares to corresponding estimates of:

  • 210,000 transfers with a total value of £34.0 billion for the 2018/19 scheme submission period
  • 100,000 transfers with a total value of £14.3 billion for the 2017/18 scheme submission period

We do not hold complete information on earlier periods.

Please see:

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 is 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
  • for the 2019/20 period specifically, over 90% of the returns relate to the 12-month period up to scheme year endings between April 2018 to February 2020, i.e. they can relate to transfers that go back as far as March 2017. Over 50% have year-end dates of either 31 December 2018 or 31 March 2019
  • for prior periods, 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 non-standard entries (e.g. buy-in / bulk transfers) have not been identified and are included in the reporting