Hargreaves Lansdown named slowest provider on pension transfers

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Hargreaves Lansdown has once again been named as the slowest provider to move pensions through Origo’s Transfer Service.

Data from Origo’s Transfer Index suggested that in 2019, from 1 January to 31 December, Hargreaves Lansdown took an average of 29.5 days to transfer a pension.

Hargreaves took significantly longer on average than the second set of slower firms, including LV=, Zurich Corporate Savings and NEST, which took on average 17.2 days, 16.2 and 13.7 respectively to transfer a pension.

Hargreaves has consistently been marked as one of the slowest providers. According to Origo data released in July 2019, the investment giant took on average 30.5 days to transfer a pension, meaning its average has bettered slightly in the last six months. Hargreaves Lansdown was contacted for comment. Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail chairs the not-for-profit initiative STAR, which is seeking to bring down transfer times across the industry. The firm has been contacted for comment.

At the other end of the scale many firms took fewer than 10 days on average to transfer a pension. NFU Mutual was the speediest firm, taking 4.7 days on average, followed by Canada Life, which took 5.4 days.

Moving in the right direction

The latest iteration of Origo’s data showed among those firms who have signed up to voluntarily publish their data, transfer times have been reduced by 3.9% compared to 2018, down 9.6 days.

Origo’s Transfer Index (OTI) measures the average time taken to cede pensions for a group of providers publishing their performance data on a quarterly basis.

In 2019, the overall average transfer time for OTI participants was 8.7 days for all ceding transfers and 7.9 days for simpler transfers – i.e. the transfers where the ceding provider has complete control over, and can reasonably be held fully accountable for, the entire ceding process.

Origo managing director Anthony Rafferty said: “These are good news figures for the industry, reflecting its willingness to embrace technology to create greater efficiencies and improve its performance, and importantly, its continuing success in improving customer outcomes.”

The full details of pension transfer times as measured by Origo can be found below.