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Transfer activity falls to lowest level in over six years, with activity halving compared with 2023

Transfer activity falls to lowest level in over six years, with activity halving compared with 2023

27 Mar 2024

XPS’s Transfer Activity Index fell further over February 2024, to an annualised rate of 15 in every 1,000 members transferring their benefits to alternative arrangements. This is the lowest level of activity seen since the index first began in May 2018, and less than half the level measured by the index this time last year. Whilst there is no single reason why transfer activity volumes have continued to fall, lower transfer volumes have coincided with falling transfer values, which may be impacting member decision making.

XPS’s Transfer Value Index remained flat compared to last month, reflecting greater stability of gilt and long term inflation rates in early 2024.

87% of cases reviewed by the XPS Scam Protection Service in February 2024 raised at least one scam warning flag, according to XPS’s Scam Flag Index. This represents an increase of 3% compared to January 2024, but remains below the yearly index. This fall was driven in part by an increase in retirees purchasing annuities, which raise fewer scam warning flags because they are not investment products.

Mark Barlow, Head of Member Options, XPS Pensions Group, said: “Transfer values have remained flat this month, and we are seeing a continued period values being significantly lower than prior to the Gilts crisis of 2022. This may be driving the lower volumes of transfer activity. Whilst it is positive to see that scam warning flags remain below the yearly index average, it remains important that members are provided with the right support in their decision making process to remain vigilant”.

Chart 1 - XPS Transfer Value Index

XPS Transfer Value Index


Chart 2 - XPS Transfer Activity Index

XPS Transfer Activity Index


Chart 3 – XPS Scam Flag Index

XPS Scam Flag Index


Table 1 – Transfer Watch over the past 12 months

XPS Transfer Watch over the past 12 monthsSource: 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 are 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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