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DB pension transfer values fall by nearly 4% at the start of 2024

DB pension transfer values fall by nearly 4% at the start of 2024

28 Feb 2024

XPS’s Transfer Value Index fell by 3.9% during January, to £158,000, breaking the trend of two consecutive rises in the Index to finish 2023. The primary driver for this decrease has been a fall in gilt yields during the first month of 2024, with long-term inflation remaining flat.

XPS’s Transfer Activity Index saw a marginal increase over January 2024, to an annualised rate of 19 members in every 1,000 transferring their benefits to alternative arrangements. This incremental change is the fifth consecutive month where transfer activity remained at a very low level.

84% of cases reviewed by the XPS Scam Protection Service in October raised at least one scam warning flag, according to XPS’s Scam Flag Index. This represents a decrease of 6% compared to December 2023 and is only the third time the index has decreased to below 90% in the past year. This could be a result of an increased number of annuities being purchased by members due to current market conditions resulting in favourable pricing. Such transfers are a lower risk as no investment decisions are made upon the purchase of an annuity, so fewer scam warning flags are raised.

Chart 1 - XPS Transfer Value Index

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Chart 2 - XPS Transfer Activity Index

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Chart 3 – XPS Scam Flag Index

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Table 1 – Transfer Watch over the past 12 months

TW March 4.png   Source: XPS Pensions Group – All data is at the end of each month.


XPS Transfer Watch is part of XPSArena, a free to access destination for learning support and development for people in pensions. Users will be able to scrutinise the latest data contributing to the headline Scam Flag Index, with filters available to compare warning flag prevalence over time and by several demographic groupings.

XPS Transfer Watch monitors how market developments have affected transfer values for an example member, as well as how many members are choosing to take a transfer value.

XPS Pensions Group’s Transfer Value Index shows the estimated Cash Transfer Value of a 64-year-old member with a pension of £10,000 a year with typical inflation increases. The value changes over time with market movements. Mortality assumptions are reviewed periodically.

XPS Pensions Group’s Transfer Activity Index represent the annualised proportion of members that transfer out of pension schemes administered by XPS. If replicated across all private sector, funded, UK, DB schemes this indicates that approximately 10,000 DB members leave their schemes each year

XPS Pensions Group’s Scam Flag Index tracks the percentage of monthly transfers reviewed by the businesses’ scam protection service that is identified as having warning ‘flags’ which indicate that the member is at risk of being scammed. The flags monitored include both the DWP’s set list of amber and red warnings and further areas of concern identified and monitored by XPS’ Scam Protection Service. The service is provided to the Trustees of approximately 500 occupational pension schemes. 

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