The average time it takes to complete pensions and annuity transfers between providers is now 11 calendar days, a significant reduction on the average of 31 days seen during 2008.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that despite dropping back from the figure of eight days recorded during the first three months of 2009, the efforts made by pension companies to improve their performance should still be applauded.
"It is still early days for Options and as more providers go online, it was always expected that average transfer times would fluctuate," said Maggie Craig, the ABI's director of life and savings. "The good news is that in just one year, average transfer times have fallen by nearly three weeks."
Fourteen pension and annuity providers are signed up and using the Options system for annuity transfers: AEGON Scottish Equitable, Aviva, AXA, Canada Life, Friends Provident, Just Retirement, Legal & General, LV=, MGM Advantage, Partnership, Pearl Group, Prudential, Skandia and Standard Life.
During the past three months, the initiative has been extended to include pension to pension transfers, with five providers currently using the new service: AEGON, Aviva, Legal & General, Prudential and Standard Life.
"Options has shown that by working together, companies can improve the customer experience of securing a retirement income from their pension savings," added Craig.
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