Guest Comment: Transfers and re-registrations: what happens behind the curtains?

Written by Association of British Insurers policy adviser Lucie Forgie

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of transfers and re-registrations within and between different retail financial products. Developments such as the pension flexibilities, the staging of employers under auto-enrolment and the pensions dashboards mean that transfers and re-registrations are likely to become even more common in future.

But what mechanics underlie these transactions and how can we make this process clearer for consumers?

A cross-industry group is currently considering these issues. The group comprises representatives from 10 major trade bodies in retail financial services and is chaired by Tom McPhail of Hargreaves Lansdown.

In December, the group published a consultation paper on improving the process of transferring pensions and re-registering investment assets, which included proposals on transfer times, data collection, and how these standards are governed. The group received 44 responses and has discussed the feedback with government and regulatory stakeholders. Responses were generally supportive and recognised the need to make improvements, but also highlighted the practical challenges faced by different sectors of the financial services industry.

The group would like to hear more from industry about these issues and is looking to hold further workshops over the summer. If you’d like your voice to be heard, please feel free to get in touch with me, Tom McPhail, or your trade body.

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