This increase in fees came as average transfer values rose considerably. Fewer members transferred over the year to March 31, 2021, down 23 percent on the previous year. However, the average transfer value paid increased by 29 percent to £375,000, significantly more than the average UK house price. This rise was driven by the members with the largest values choosing to transfer their pension.
XPS Pensions Group continued: “In the context of higher average transfer values, the increase in fees may also be driven by members choosing more sophisticated options. The survey revealed that 99 percent of members transferred to a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
“These range in sophistication and complexity, with fees ranging from as low as 0.7 percent pa to over three percent pa (including ongoing financial advice). Some vehicles that can also be lower cost, such as workplace pension schemes or master trusts, are not routinely considered by members. If schemes combine access to financial advice and lower cost options, this could help the average member’s funds last a full ten years longer in retirement.
“The gap between transfer values paid to male and female members reduced from 50 percent to 21 percent in the year to March 2021, with the average transfer value for men sitting at £394,000 and women at £326,000.”