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Cross-industry group on pension and investment transfers announces new Chair

Tom McPhail of Hargreaves Lansdown has been unanimously selected by the members of the cross-industry group on pension and investment transfers to take over as Chair of the initiative with immediate effect, replacing Fidelity International’s Ed Dymott.

In early 2016, eight of the leading investment and pension trade associations, alongside nominees from member firms, joined forces to investigate ways to improve the process of transferring pension and investment assets.

In December 2016, the group published a consultation paper that outlines 5 proposals to improve transfer processes. The proposals relate to both transfers and re-registrations of retail financial products, and cover a broad range of tax wrappers and those asset types which are held in these wrappers.

The Group is seeking written feedback on these proposals and other ways to drive improvement by 31 January 2017, with a final set of recommendations due to be published in Spring 2017.

Summary of the five proposals to improve the transfers and re-registration process:

1.    The creation of clear service expectations for transfers and re-registrations, including a 48 hour standard for completing each step in the process.

2.    The collection of high level management information and a common reporting methodology for all transfers and re-registration instructions.

3.    The creation of a forum to identify, prioritise and implement solutions that resolve unnecessary barriers to transfer and re-registration processes.

4.    The development of common industry standards and good practice guidelines for the retail investment and pensions industry.

5.    The establishment of an independent governance and oversight body to oversee the implementation of the final proposals.

New Chair of the group, Tom McPhail, of Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "With the demand for the volume of transfers and re-registrations set to increase in future, and ever increasing customer expectations around the timeliness and quality of switching, this is likely to become an increasingly important issue for pension and investment providers.

"I’m excited to be leading this initiative as it moves into its next stage, and I encourage all affected stakeholders to engage with the consultation paper and make their views heard."

Yvonne Braun, ABI Director of Policy, Long Term Savings and Protection, said: "Tom is a well-known commentator with in-depth knowledge of the products and tax wrappers affected by transfers and re-registrations, as well as a strong track record of advocating for better consumer outcomes.

"We’re delighted to be working with him on the next phase of this initiative, as the trade bodies consider the feedback from industry to inform our final recommendations."

Please click here to view the published consultation paper, and click here to view the previous press release on this initiative.

  - Ends –

Notes for Editors

1.    This press release is issued by the ABI on behalf of the Group, which is comprised of members and representatives of the following industry associations:

  • The Association of British Insurers (ABI)
  • The Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS)
  • The Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA)
  • The British Bankers’ Association (BBA)
  • The Investment Association (IA)
  • The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA)
  • The UK Platform Group (UKPG)
  • The Wealth Management Association (WMA)

2.    The scope of the Review included all types of tax wrappers and all types of assets that can be held within these wrappers. The Review covered transfers (where a transfer from one provider to another is done by selling assets and transferring cash) and re-registrations (where the registered ownership of the asset is changed and the asset is moved in specie). The types of asset classes held range significantly in structure from simple and widely available share classes in collective investments to physical assets held within SIPP accounts such as commercial property.

3.    Due to the nature of processes and sub processes required to be undertaken to transfer more complex asset types, it may not be possible to include these within the initial proposal to set clear service standards. Transfers of bank accounts or Cash ISAs are also not within the scope of the review, as these transfers have already been subject to a recent review and improvement of market practice.

4.    The proposals in the paper have been discussed with the Financial Conduct Authority, the Pensions Regulator, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

5.    Enquiries to:
Malcolm Tarling                      020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147 667
Lauren Gow                            020 7216 7327    Mobile: 07889 641702 


Last updated 18/01/2017