Hogan Lovells

Key Dates

Determination issued on 11 January 2018.


Summary

Mr E sought to transfer his funds under a section 32 buy-out policy to another provider.  The transferring provider refused to confirm whether benefits accrued under the buy-out plan had been equalised between men and women and declined to provide an equalisation indemnity.

Mr E's advisers argued that, to fulfil their internal compliance requirements and regulatory obligations, they required confirmation of equalisation before the transfer could proceed. They explained that, in addition, Mr E's intended receiving provider would not accept a transfer from a section 32 buy-out policy without confirmation on equalisation. It was alleged that the transferring provider's refusal to provide the confirmation on equalisation prevented the advisers from giving advice on the transfer, which lead to financial loss.

The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman rejected the complaint.  The main obstacle to completing the transfer was the receiving provider's insistence on receiving evidence from the transferring provider that equalisation had taken place, and the transferring provider's refusal to provide this.  Mr E's advisers should have known that there was no legal obligation for pension providers to provide indemnities.  It was ultimately a commercial decision for the transferring provider whether or not to provide confirmation on equalisation, and a commercial decision for the receiving provider whether or not to accept the transfer.



Date Accessed: 28/05/2022