IFAs must act now to ensure clients affected by the change in the minimum pension age do not suffer serious delays which will restrict access to benefits, says Scottish Life.
The insurer says the jump in the minimum age at which benefits can be taken, from 50 to 55, raises significant planning issues for IFAs with clients between the ages of 49 and 54.
The change will come into effect on 6 April 2010, but Scottish Life is urging IFAs to act now because transferring pension arrangements can take months to implement.
Fiona Tait, business development manager at Scottish Life, says: "I can't stress too much how important it is for IFAs to act now to allow time to identify potentially affected clients, and time to take appropriate action."
She goes on to say that although a transfer can be processed in 22 days, the more usual scenario is around 40 days and in problem cases can be significantly more.
Tait says there are four parties involved in a transfer - client, adviser, ceding providers and receiving provider - and all need to act in unison.
"It takes just one of the parties involved to cause a serious delay in completing the transfer process," she warns.
According to Scottish Life, the most common reason for delay is pension sharing due to the extra legal requirements which have to be met, accounting for 29% of the total. Not having the CA1872 form (required by the DWP for an individual wanting to take income from protected rights) causes 12% of delays and not having discharge forms account for 11% of delays.
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