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Leading pension Cos are transferring in under 12 calendar days

29 April 2021

Twenty-seven of the leading pension companies have an average transfer time between them for ceding pensions of under 12 calendar days, latest data from Origo show.

The 27 companies voluntarily publish their ceding data (i.e. where they transfer a pension to another provider) in the Origo Transfer Index (OTI), providing transparency and a benchmark for other companies in the industry.

Data for the 12 months to 31 March 2021, for transfers made through the Origo Transfer Service, show the transfer time across OTI participants was an average of 9.2 days for simple transfers (i.e. those where the ceding provider has complete control over the ceding process) and 11.7 days for overall transfers (where the provider may or may not have control over the entire process).

NFU Mutual clocked up the fastest average time at 6.5 calendar days for overall transfers (4.5 calendar days for simple transfers) while Hargreaves Lansdown produced the worst time of 43.3 days – see table below.

Origo Transfer Service data shows that the majority of pensions across the service as a whole are being transferred between the ages of 50 and 60, with another peak at 65 and a smaller peak at age 75. The average transfer value across all transfers was £43,051.

Pension to annuity transfers follow the same five-year pattern but are highest at ages 65 and 66, with an average transfer value of £48,508.

Re-Assure recently became the 27th company to participate in the index.

Commenting, Anthony Rafferty, CEO Origo, said: “We are delighted that a provider of the profile of Re-Assure has chosen to participate in the Origo Transfer Index, emphasising the importance for the industry of providing greater transparency around all transfers of customer assets, which can only help to drive up efficiencies and in so doing improve outcomes for consumers.

“This is an important area which is under close scrutiny of government and regulators and we hope more providers will come onboard with the OTI and publish their data.”

Over the past year, he added, the Origo Transfers Service has undertaken close to 800,000 pension transfers, with the peaks in transfer occurring, as might be expected, at ages 55, 60, 65 and 75.

“The highest number of pension-to-pension transfers, where pension members may be looking to transfer to cash in their pension, to switch provider or to a drawdown product, were made between the ages of 50 and 60, with nearly £15.2bn being transferred.

“The peak age for pension-to-pension transfers was 55, with £2.27bn being transferred through the service at that age.

“While this quarter’s report shows a rise in the average transfer time from Q1 for both simple and overall transfers, these are calendar not working days and on average pensions transfers for OTI participants remain well within two calendar weeks.”

Rafferty added that the Origo Transfer Service serves over 150 brands and automates the vast majority of DC pension transfers in the market, with the leading names conducting around 80% of traffic on the Service.

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