UK – The government is to legislate on the calculation of transfer values for defined benefit occupational pension schemes – taking oversight away from the Actuarial Profession.

The move follows what pensions minister Stephen Timms called a “significant difference of view” with the profession about the way forward on the matter.

“We have now agreed with the profession that the time is right for the government to set out the principles in legislation that should underpin the calculation of transfer values,” Timms said in a written statement. The government will consult on draft regulations shortly.

Wendy Beaver, chairman of the Actuarial Profession’s pensions board said it was “no longer appropriate” for the profession alone to define how minimum transfer values should be calculated, via its GN11 guidance note.

The actuarial profession would now was now just providing “technical assistance”, Timms said.

The Actuarial Profession will remain responsible for guidance on the issue until the role is transferred to the new Board for Actuarial Standards.

“Setting the basis for transfer values in legislation will be a major step forward in achieving clarity in an area where there has been much public interest,” said Institute of Actuaries president Michael Pomery.

Elsewhere, the National Australia Bank said its staff had supported changes to its UK defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes.

It said the proposals were put to a ballot of around 7,800 members of its three DB funds and the 1,200 in its DC scheme.