Star initiative agrees core management info to measure DC pension transfer performance

The Star initiative has agreed on core management information (MI) to measure transfer performance, including for occupational defined contribution (DC) pensions.

It stated that the objective of core MI reporting was to allow for the accreditation of Star members to reflect their transfer process performance.

The core MI will initially focus its requirements on the reporting of electronic transfers, while re-registrations and manual transfers will be included when Star feels there is sufficient data to report on.

Star said the agreement on core MI was a “key milestone” for the initiative, as it would allow it to become “the single, authoritative source of transfer data on how firms are performing”.

A quarterly industry index and annual accreditation scheme will be produced following the collection of data.

Star accreditations of bronze, silver and gold will be awarded to evidence, reward and encourage improvements across the industry, it stated.

The annual accreditation scheme will start in January 2022 based on agreed MI, consisting of at least 3 consecutive month’s submission of 2021 data.

The initiative is also working towards full MI reporting, which it said will provide an indication of how an organisation is performing in the specific processes that it is responsible for in a transfer journey.

Financial Conduct Authority executive director for consumers and competition, Sheldon Mills, said that the regulator was “supportive” of the progress Star has made and described the production of more MI as “an important interim step” in aiming to bring down transfer times.

“Full MI reporting, as proposed, seeks to provide equal accountability for firms across the transfer process, as originally envisaged by TRIG,” he continued.

“Reducing transfer times remains a priority for the FCA and full MI will play an important role in ensuring this. Therefore, we are strongly supportive of Star continuing to pursue the full MI and its publication.

“We have committed to a review of progress against our desired outcomes in relation to transfers in 2022, and we will actively be following Star’s progress towards its objectives over the next 12 months.”

Star Steering Group chair, Andrew Marker, added: “I am delighted that the initiative has reached a significant milestone for us, which is central to our objectives.

“The last year has been an intense period of work with the industry galvanised to drive forward this solution. Not only will this initiative improve outcomes for customers, but for participating organisations, it will drive efficiencies and save money in the process.

“The accreditation roadmap is synchronised with the timings of the FCA who have said they would review progress in 2022 and take further regulatory action if necessary.

“We are delighted that the FCA encourage firms in the retail investment and pension sectors not already involved in Star to take part. It is aligned with shared desired outcomes to improve the customer experience, reduce how long it takes to complete transfers and ensure consumers can move to a provider that better meets their needs more easily.”

Star was launched in January 2019 and current has 78 firms signed up to the initiative.

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