Providers’ ‘slow and inefficient’ admin is causing delays to transfers, advisers warn

The “slow and inefficient” administration of pension providers is causing delays and backlogs in pension transfer, advisers have warned.

Drewberry Wealth Management has claimed mistakes being made by providers are causing consumer detriment, and more needs to be done to create a more efficient system.

The advisory firm’s head of pensions Neil Adams said the time taken for providers and benefit consultants to provide the initial pension information for using the new freedoms such as transfers, can take up to three months.

“This delay means the customers cannot receive advice and recommendations swiftly. In addition, when we carry out in depth due diligence we find that it’s not uncommon for the information provided to be incorrect or misleading. This causes further delays,” Adams said.

Hargreaves Lansdown recently called for legislation to be passed for transfer payments to be within 30 days.

Adams said this would be a step in the right direction, “but more needs to be done”.

“We need to look at why benefit consultants are taking in excess of 30 days to make transfer payments and the insurance companies are taking less than 10 days,” he added.

“I suspect benefit consultants do not have the resources to cope with the number of requests, which have significantly increased since April 2015 due to the pension freedom legislation.”

However, he said the combination of late and misleading information combined with slow transfer payment times means a transfer takes “too long”

“[It] means that consumers miss out on investment opportunities if they are invested in the wrong type of portfolio. If clients become frustrated they may drop out of the process altogether which has serious long term implications for them,” he said.

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