On the first day of my pension transfer, my provider gave to me...

Ffion White

by , PR Manager

12 Dec 2023 /  

Dec 2023

Gifting a wrapped present.

London, Tuesday 12 December 2023: The latest data from a key industry transfer index reveals that, on average, providers took 12.9 days to complete a pension transfer, in the 12 months to September 2023.

To give an insight into what should happen when someone decides to consolidate their pensions, and in the spirit of Christmas, PensionBee presents a new twist on the timeless ‘12 days of Christmas’ carol: the 12.9 days of a pension transfer.

What happens when you transfer a pension?

Day one: A partridge in a pear tree

The initial request is sent via Origo, the transfer service that compiles the index, to the scheme you are leaving, marking the beginning of the pension transfer journey.

Day two: Two turtle doves

On the second day, the request is placed in a queue, initially marked as ‘unallocated’, before being transferred from one provider to another.

Day three: Three French hens

As the request moves into its third day, it begins to take flight and is marked as ‘in progress’.

Day four: Four calling birds

Depending on the backlog at the scheme you are leaving, the ‘in progress’ stage can take longer than expected.

Day five: Five golden rings

On the fifth day, the two providers may exchange messages to check everything is complete before initiating the disinvesting process.

Day six: Six geese a-laying

Providers may require customers to complete additional forms or provide ID, laying the groundwork for the next step.

Day seven: Sevens swans a swimming

The seventh day sees the scheme you are leaving start the disinvestment period

Day eight: Eight maids a milking

On the eighth day, money managers are hard at work disinvesting funds.

Day nine: Nine ladies dancing

The transfer service sends a message on the ninth day to the new provider, telling them that funds are on the way,

Day 10: 10 Lords a leaping

The scheme you are leaving sends the funds using the new providers’ unique identifying number, as funds leap from one entity to another, during a process which can take up to five working days.

Day 11: 11 pipers piping

The funds are received and invested by the new provider, a melodious moment for the consumer.

Day 12(.9): 12 drummers drumming

The pension transfer is complete on the twelfth day!

Becky O’Connor, Director of Public Affairs at PensionBee, commented: “Transferring a pension can take around 12 days and should be quite a simple process. It could take less than this with speedier pension companies, but it can unfortunately also take a lot longer.

“It might not quite be 12 days to transfer a pension this Christmas for everyone starting the process over the festive period. But as long as you have a consumer-focused provider, you could reasonably expect the move to be complete by mid-January, getting a new year personal finance to-do list off to a flying start ”.

Table 1: Overall average pension transfer times, from October 2022 to September 2023

Average transfer time (days)

Average transfer time (days)
PensionBee 10.8
Industry average 12.9

Source: Origo Transfer Index, December 2023. Available here.

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