Investments  

UK trade bodies unite over slow pension transfers

The Best

Company

Type

Average days to complete transfer

Supports Electronic transfers

A

Insurance company

4.33

Yes

B

Wealth Manager

5.94

Yes

C

Insurance company

7.07

Yes

D

Insurance company

7.43

Yes

E

Insurance company

7.53

Yes

F

Insurance company

7.71

Yes

G

Insurance company

8.19

Yes

H

Bank

8.38

Yes

I

Insurance company

8.68

Yes

J

Insurance company

8.83

Yes

The Worst

Company

Type

Average days to complete transfer

Supports Electronic transfers

Q

Benefits consultancy

34.97

No

R

Pension administrator

35.13

No

S

Benefits consultancy

35.21

No

T

Pension administrator

36.23

No

U

Benefits consultancy

39.43

No

V

Master Trust

42.03

No

W

Benefits consultancy

42.72

No

X

Benefits consultancy

44.03

No

Y

Pension scheme

45.88

No

Z

Benefits consultancy

53.37

No

Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy, said: “Moving pensions and investments around between companies can still be a lottery for investors. Some companies have invested in delivering efficient and predictable service for their customers but others are still bedevilled by turgid, unpredictable and bureaucratic systems.

"It takes two to tango and it doesn’t matter how good one company’s systems and customer service is, if the counterparty in a transfer transaction is dragging their feet or operating poorly. So it makes sense to address this issue on a collaborative, collective endeavour basis; there is a commitment across the industry trade bodies and organisations involved in this consultation to raise standards across the board.”

Carol Knight, chief operations officer at the Tax Incentivised Savings Assocation said enabling customers to transfer assets quickly and efficiently is a long-held belief of Tisa.

"That’s why we established TISA Exchange (TeX) to help facilitate the electronic transfer of wrappers and assets between platforms and providers. We have also been instrumental in helping to bring Cash Isa transfer times down.

“We know that the FCA is taking a keen interest and, as with TeX, would like to see the industry develop solutions itself that improve the transfer and re-registration times for pension as well as investment assets."

Robert Lewis, director of operations at Flintshire-based Heritage Financial Solutions said: "This is a great point and something that frustrates us as an IFA on a day to day basis. The comments and research I believe hits the nail on the head.

"Some providers are very good in transferring money in a timely fashion, but there are some providers (in our experience small SIPP providers) who can take months to transfer funds, meaning clients can spend longer in the wrong assets. Is this really treating customers fairly?

"I believe there should be a guarantee just like the current account switching service, seven days would be fantastic, but not sure how realistic that is and how easy it would be to implement, great target though."

ruth.gillbe@ft.com