As part of its desire to understand more about the consumers’ thought processes when transferring their pension, we have commissioned new research into the role that financial incentives can play.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) conducted a an online lab experiment with more than 5,500 adults, testing the effect of incentives and referrals on people’s intention to transfer their pension. The trial was designed with relatively easy-to-compare fees and returns, which meant people who transferred their pensions would be worse-off by around £1,000 if they chose to go ahead. The participants were shown two adverts to transfer their pension – one without any incentive, while the other offered them £100. The same exercise was repeated via a text message referral from a friend.

The study found that incentives motivated people to transfer their pensions, with people who saw such an offer being almost 20 per cent more likely to say they would transfer their pension.

Download the full ‘Pension transfer decision making’ report