The Pensions Regulator has warned trustees they must prioritise transfers between DC schemes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an update to its Covid-19 guidance, the regulator also emphasised the role trustees have in helping to prevent pension scams.
The regulator reminded trustees that transfers between DC schemes are one of a number of core financial transactions, and a common way for members to access their benefits, so they need to be a priority during this period of lockdown, as some members will be suffering financial hardship.
Earlier guidance said that trustees of DB schemes may choose to delay new member requests for transfer quotations by up to three months. But the update today emphasises this does not apply to transfers between DC schemes.
TPR executive director David Fairs says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for pension schemes and their members. That’s why we’ve been constantly reviewing and updating our guidance to support trustees and protect savers.
“Our latest guidance should help trustees of DC schemes prioritise what’s most important – such as ensuring DC to DC transfers are completed in a reasonable time, so savers don’t lose out.
“As well as carrying out their due diligence on transfers, trustees should help protect members by highlighting the risk from scammers in their own communications.
“Guidance on communicating with members during Covid-19 — including alerting them to the danger from scammers — is available on TPR’s website.”