Nest is the latest pension provider to join the Star initiative, an industry-wide group aimed at driving up standards in the pension industry, and reducing transfer times.
This ABI-hosted pensions working group is due to have its first meeting this week (August 22nd). There will be over 30 organisations at this meeting, including Nest, which is now the biggest master trust provider in the UK, with 8m members.
By joining Star, providers commit to reducing transfer times for DC schemes to less than 21 days. Providers will also regularly report on average transfer times.
Nest pointed out that 90 per cent of its transfers are made using the Origo platform. For these, Nest’s average transfer time is 12.2 days.
The minister for pensions and financial inclusion Guy Opperman welcomed the news, saying it was “overdue”. He adds: “I’m glad Nest has signed up to the 21-day transfer pledge.
“Nest looks after the pensions of millions of people brought into retirement saving by automatic enrolment, so clearly it is important they send a message to the rest of the industry.
“Others need to act urgently to join them and show that they care about their customers, or face being ‘named and shamed’.”
Nest’s director of customer engagement Mark Rowlands adds: “We’re pleased to join this initiative and share our experience to help other organisations reduce their transfer times.
“While we’ll continue to offer quick transfers, we also want savers to have clear and easy to understand information to help them make informed decisions about their pension scheme – from transfer charges to how the scheme operates, from future investment prospects to past fund performance.”
Chair of the Star Steering committee and Hargreaves Lansdown pension analyst Tom McPhail says: “Frankly the more organisations that become involved, the firmer our foundations are and the more momentum we have.
“We are pleased with wide-ranging and extensive industry support we have received and continue to receive. We have begun to collaborate at our steering and working Groups which will help galvanise the industry to forge ahead with change and to improve things for consumers.”