Defined benefit (DB) transfer values dropped slightly during November, as did the number of members who chose to transfer out of XPS-administered schemes, according to XPS Pensions Group.
XPS's transfer activity index, which monitors how many members are choosing to take their transfer value from XPS-administered schemes, recorded a decrease in the number of transfers completed in November to an annual equivalent of 0.81% of eligible members, down from 0.99% in October.
Elsewhere, the firm's transfer value index (TVI) fell from £244,200 at the end of October to £241,700 at the end of November, continuing the decline observed in October.
According to XPS, the drop was driven by increases in gilt yields over the month, but the relatively stable financial markets over November translated into the lowest volatility in the index since July 2018.
XPS's index tracks the transfer value that would be provided by a hypothetical DB scheme to a member aged 64 who is entitled to a pension of £10,000 each year, starting at age 65. It increases each year in line with inflation. The index launched three years ago and has recently been updated to reflect up-to-date life expectancy data, which reduced the index by around 2.5% on 1 May 2019.
XPS pensions group partner Mark Barlow said: "It's perhaps surprising, given the general election, that November represented the most stable month for our transfer value index in over a year. We will wait to see whether that continues after voters go to the polls on 12 December.
"Transfer activity also fell over November, perhaps impacted by the political uncertainty, but the rates remained broadly in line with those observed recently."
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