The market for defined benefit (DB) pensions advice is getting smaller, with more and more firms giving up their DB permissions.

    So if you're among those firms who've decided not to be part of this market, what if a client then asks you to advise on their DB pension?

    Well, this is where the two-adviser model comes in, where different advisers give advice on the DB transfer and any remaining investment advice.

    There are, however, a few things you need to consider.

    Carrying out due diligence

    Before even starting on the advice process, you'll need to carry out thorough due diligence (if you haven’t already) on firms with DB permissions who are willing to accept the two-adviser model process. 

    It's important you complete a full review to select one or more firms that you know and especially trust.

    In your checks it's clearly worth making sure their professional indemnity insurance is sufficient. Also, ask to see their complaints registers, and to see and understand their end-to-end client engagement and advice processes.

    Introducer agreements

    It's also important you have an introducer agreement in place to capture how the arrangement will operate.

    An introducer needs to clearly define how the roles of the two advisers will work, as well as their respective charging structures.

    The agreement should also how detail what would happen if a future complaint was made about the services provided by either of the firms. 

    Your compliance team or support services firm may be able to check these agreements for you.


    As a firm without DB permissions, you can complete a triage process with your existing clients as you won't be providing any advice.

    There are providers out there that can help you with this such as Money Alive, which offers client videos on financial topics including DB transfers.

    Alternatively, you may choose to hand over this to the authorised firm you're working with.

    Ongoing fees

    If you're taking over ongoing advice and support after the recommendation, the authorised firm will need to be aware of your ongoing fees.

    They can then include these in the report, and provide the client with a clear and fair analysis of the transfer and the costs of this service.

    The authorised firm must clearly state this is your ongoing fee rather than their's.

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