The biggest slump in defined benefit transfer activity occurred at the start of April when Covid-19 peaked, an index shows.

A weekly analysis from consultants LCP looks at the number of requests to transfer out of the 81 DB schemes it administers.

It shows only 14 requests were received at the peak of the virus in the week commencing 6 April, the lowest weekly figure since the start of 2020.

Other than this the level of activity has continued to return to more normal levels with 34 transfer requests received in the past week.

This compares with an average of 21 requests per week between the lockdown announcement on 23 March and the initial lifting of restrictions announced on 10 May.

LCP adds the current number of requests remains significantly below the average of 48 per week received in the 11 weeks before the lockdown.

LCP associate consultant Tim Camfield says: “A recent Office for National Statistics article brought to light that deprived areas of England and Wales have had disproportionately high Covid-19 mortality rates.

“This raised a question of whether DB pension schemes – whose members may generally be better off financially than average by standard measures – might see significantly lower increases in mortality during the pandemic.

“However, our analysis shows that the DB pension schemes that LCP administer, covering 65,000 members, have had increases in deaths broadly in line with, or only slightly below, the increases within the general national population.”

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