Hargreaves Lansdown has once again been named as the slowest provider to move pensions through Origo’s Transfer Service.
Data from Origo's Transfer Index suggested that in 2019, from 1 January to 31 December, Hargreaves Lansdown took an average of 29.5 days to transfer a pension.
Hargreaves took significantly longer on average than the second set of slower firms, including LV=, Zurich Corporate Savings and NEST, which took on average 17.2 days, 16.2 and 13.7 respectively to transfer a pension.
Hargreaves has consistently been marked as one of the slowest providers. According to Origo data released in July 2019, the investment giant took on average 30.5 days to transfer a pension, meaning its average has bettered slightly in the last six months. Hargreaves Lansdown was contacted for comment. Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail chairs the not-for-profit initiative STAR, which is seeking to bring down transfer times across the industry.
McPhail said: "Executing transfers in a timely and efficient manner is a key component of market competition and good customer outcomes. However it requires firms to collaborate, which is why the STAR initiative was launched, with the support of the FCA, DWP and the Pensions Regulator. Many firms, including our own at times are having to up their game and improve their performance to meet the new standards; the framework is already having an effect. We will continue with the project in 2020, signing up more firms and in particular the fund managers, building out the processes and putting the monitoring in place."
At the other end of the scale many firms took fewer than 10 days on average to transfer a pension. NFU Mutual was the speediest firm, taking 4.7 days on average, followed by Canada Life, which took 5.4 days.
Moving in the right direction
The latest iteration of Origo's data showed among those firms who have signed up to voluntarily publish their data, transfer times have been reduced by 3.9% compared to 2018, down 9.6 days.
Origo's Transfer Index (OTI) measures the average time taken to cede pensions for a group of providers publishing their performance data on a quarterly basis.
In 2019, the overall average transfer time for OTI participants was 8.7 days for all ceding transfers and 7.9 days for simpler transfers - i.e. the transfers where the ceding provider has complete control over, and can reasonably be held fully accountable for, the entire ceding process.
Origo managing director Anthony Rafferty said: "These are good news figures for the industry, reflecting its willingness to embrace technology to create greater efficiencies and improve its performance, and importantly, its continuing success in improving customer outcomes."
The full details of pension transfer times as measured by Origo can be found below.
Budget 11 March
Review expected in Budget
Bill debated in Parliament
Second HoL reading
2000 customers quizzed
LF ASI Income Focus due to reopen on Thursday
Tough year for platforms
Liontrust Income falls 19 places into grey list
Among other initiatives
Dominic Sanzari, 26, was an unhappy accountant but now he's an ecstatic associate financial planner. Here he explains how the Succession Wealth graduate programme enabled his dream to become reality