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Industry takes step forward with first automated bulk occupational pensions transfers  

28 September 2017

Standard Life and Scottish Widows have successfully completed the industry’s first two automated bulk transfers of occupational pension schemes, using Origo’s Options Transfers service and its special bulk facility.

The automated transfers moved a total of 305 members of defined contribution occupational schemes between the two parties, with a total value of over £11 million. The transfers took an average of just 5 calendar days – a significant improvement on the standard manual process which can take months to complete.

Paul Pettitt, Managing Director of Origo (pictured), said: “We are delighted that Standard Life and Scottish Widows have been the first to demonstrate and benefit from the efficiencies and cost savings that can be gained from automating bulk transfers of pension schemes using the Origo Options Transfers service. This has set the standard for the way providers, TPAs and EBCs transfer pensions.”

The Bulk Transfers service smooths and speeds up the bulk transfers process by removing the industry’s previous reliance on paperwork and eliminates the potential risks of keying errors.

There are five providers currently signed to the Options Bulk Transfers service: Standard Life, Scottish Widows, ReAssure, Royal London and Zurich.

Pettitt added that just as the Origo Options service started with a handful of users in 2008, it now has over 90 brands signed to the service and millions of transfers going through it.

“Over the years, the Options Transfers service has been developed and enhanced to offer re-registration for ISAs and pensions, and now the ability to transfer members in bulk. Over time, as this service and its benefits become widely recognised, we expect even more companies to make use of the Bulk Transfers service.”

Neil Hugh, Head of Customer and Workplace Proposition Strategy and Development at Standard Life, said: “Automated bulk transfer enables faster switching between ceding and receiving parties, which is transparent and secure. It helps employers to save considerable time and resource commitment, which is a real benefit to them. We’re pleased to have played a part in the industry’s first bulk automated transfers of workplace schemes and we will continue to support Origo’s industry-leading technology.”

Alison Nicolson, Scottish Widows Head of Workplace Savings Proposition, said: “Origo’s Bulk Transfers service ensures the quick movement of funds between providers which helps us enhance our members’ experience when their employer makes the decision to move pension scheme provider.

“We are constantly striving to deliver better member outcomes in retirement and will continue to use technology to simplify processes and make things easier for our customers.”

Origo’s Pettitt added: “The regulator has increased its focus on the member experience, leading to manual processes coming under greater scrutiny. Users of Options Transfers will not only be seen to be responsive to government and regulatory concerns around pensions transfers, but also will be able to monitor their transfers performance accurately, improve their service to members and enhance their reputation in the industry.”


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