Annuity transfer times have been 'significantly' improved thanks to the ABI's Options initiative, the association says.
The ABI claims the scheme has helped cut the average time to transfer pension cash to an external annuity provider has been cut to just eight days.
Prior to the launch of the Options initiative, transfers could take four weeks or more, meaning some consumers would have difficulty obtaining guaranteed annuity quotes.
Options is built on Origo's IT systems, and is designed to speed up the exchange of information and funds between pension and annuity providers.
The ABI expects to cut down average transfer times even further as the system is refined and more providers begin using it.
"This is very good news for annuity customers, and a real success for the pensions industry," says Maggie Craig, director of life and savings at the ABI.
"Pension and annuity providers, and the ABI, were determined to improve performance on transfer payment times."
"'Options' directly benefits the vast majority of customers who want to move between annuity providers. It makes the whole process significantly easier for customers and advisers, meaning policies will be set up much more quickly than ever before."
Craig says the system is being upgraded, and will soon have its operation extended to other types of pension transfer.
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