The Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers

Undoubtedly, if you ask any international financial adviser what are the greatest administration frustrations that they face presently, I am sure that pension transfers will figure high up on that list. Specifically, delays and frustrations encountered when trying to transfer non-UK resident clients out of UK schemes into the likes of International SIPPs.

This is unfortunate, especially when it comes to transfers to & from UK defined contribution schemes, because many of these should be really simple and quick to move if they are able to transfer via the Origo transfer service.

Successfully operating since 2008, Origo is the transfers service which has been successful in reducing transfer times to just a handful of days (a long-standing average of 11 days). It is now trusted by dozens of UK pension provider brands and looking at the latest published statistics for 2020, there are some striking numbers:

  • 781,782 transfers completed (up 3% from 2019)
  • £37.2Bn transferred (up 2% from 2019)
  • Despite this growth in volume, the average time taken to transfer is down to 8.8 days from 9.3 days (down by 5% compared to 2019)
  • Average transfer value is £47,609.00

The Origo Transfer Service is also transparent because the community is keen to showcase their good work via their annual transfer index to enable monitoring of their performance and efforts in delivering improved transfer times. So then, with these impressive numbers, why is there still all this adviser frustration? Well as with most things, this system works best when done properly.

A common reason for Origo delays and failure is simply down to an address mismatch. Therefore, one task that advisers can quickly add into their process is to ensure that the address held with the ceding scheme matches that which they will use for the new pension application. If not, then the ceding scheme will decline the transfer and will not proceed until the client has supplied certified evidence of the new address in order for them to update their own records. Even then, they might go on to insist that the transfer proceeds using paper discharge forms instead, as the case could now be ‘red-flagged’ as a potential scam case requiring a compliance review.

Similarly, Origo cases can also be rejected where essential data such as the client National Insurance number or existing pension policy reference has been mis-quoted. At these times of heightened due diligence amongst the UK pension providers it is essential that care is taken to ensure that key data matches on both side of the application process in order for the transfer to proceed smoothly online via the Origo service.

As you can see, the good news is that simple checks implemented as part of the adviser transfer process can easily lead to smoother and quicker transfers when utilising the Origo service. So, with a little less haste, it is highly likely that transfers will complete in just a few days rather than several weeks and also eliminate the unwelcome stress and angst which usually is suffered by both advisers and clients alike in these protracted circumstances.

​​​​​​​​The above article was kindly provided by Paul Forman from Novia Global. For further information contact Paul.Forman@novia-global.com or tel: +44 (0)7395 793 450.