PensionBee, a leading online pension provider, has made it possible for more savers to move their pensions quickly and efficiently with the adoption of an additional transfer service.
ViaNova is an industry working group that sets consistent open standards across fund providers, pension providers and platforms to allow automated pension transfers at super-fast speed. The use of open standards gives users permission to copy, distribute and use technology freely or at a low cost to improve the experience of consumers (1).
PensionBee has repeatedly led calls for a 10-day pension switch guarantee, which would ensure switching providers is a quick, efficient and secure process which happens electronically within 10 days. The provider has completed hundreds of thousands of electronic transfers since joining Origo, a private online transfer service, in 2016.
PensionBee is now adopting ViaNova open transfer standards to promote faster electronic pension transfers with a number of pension providers and third-party administrators including Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown and Willis Towers Watson.
Leading pension software developer Equisoft will provide the back-office system that will give PensionBee the capability to complete transfers through ViaNova. Since recently implementing Equisoft, the average time taken for the relevant transfers from request to completion with PensionBee, has reduced from 53 to 20 days, marking a significant improvement in transfer efficiency.
Romi Savova, CEO at PensionBee said: “Consumers deserve to have an efficient pension transfer process, free from long delays or complications, so they can have direct control over their retirement savings.
A wider adoption of open standards across the pension industry is an essential step in accelerating the shift to a necessary common digital infrastructure for pension transfers, which will benefit millions of consumers across the UK.
However, self-regulation is not enough and we once again call on regulators to implement a 10-day Pension Switch Guarantee, a time frame the Financial Ombudsman Service is already independently enforcing. This is essential to help restore confidence and trust in the pension system, allowing consumers to take control of their financial future and plan ahead for a happy retirement.”
Andy Hussey, Co-chair of ViaNova said: “The objective of ViaNova has always been to facilitate the automated procession of pension transfers by creating open data standards available to everyone who works in our industry in order that they can better serve their clients.
We support these with the TEX legal standards so that all sides can have comfort that the transfer has a solid and shared legal basis. PensionBee works hard on behalf of the UK’s pension holders, and we are extremely pleased that we can be part of their journey to allow people to better take control of their pensions.”
Nick Meredith, UK Products Director of Equisoft said: “Open standards are critical to allow the easy transfer of pensions across providers. As a software business, we work with many pension providers and platforms to help them transfer data and ultimately customer assets more easily.
Our software aligns to the ViaNova standards because we believe their approach is right for industry firms and customers alike.”