XPS joins STAR initiative to improve industry standards for pension transfers

XPS Pensions Group (XPS) joins the STAR initiative, demonstrating their commitment and support to driving pension transfer standards upwards and transfer times downwards.

XPS believes it is important to improve the pension transfer process for members, particularly for defined contribution (DC) to DC transfers, however it needs to be done whilst protecting members’ interests by combating pension scams.

STAR was created to shape industry-wide standards and promote best practice in pension transfers to ensure a smoother transfer process. STAR will deliver a cross-industry framework of good practice that will improve the consumer experience and reduce the time taken to pay pension. transfers

XPS is already embracing the use of technology in its DC business. We use the Altus platform which allows us to action straight through processing and reduces time and risk when communicating with investment managers. We are also using Origo across our SIPP business and multi-employer master trust, the National Pension Trust. The Origo platform helps standardise and reduce the amount of paperwork where both parties use the system.

XPS are looking forward to sharing their expertise with STAR in its ongoing work to drive up standards and implement the transfer framework

David Watkins, Managing Director, XPS Administration said: “XPS Pensions Group is committed to improving member outcomes and we believe that the STAR initiative shares our values and is determined to help us raise the standard of support around transfer activity. Whilst efficiency is important in making the end to end pension transfer process as quick as possible, the industry is also tackling the issue of increasingly sophisticated pension scams and doing its best to combat them. In the light of these challenges it is important for us to be on the inside of this initiative and to be able to work alongside other providers and STAR, to improve administration process and protect our members’ interests.”

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion said: “It’s great to see XPS embracing STAR in the interests of customers and throwing down the gauntlet to other administrators. I urge other firms to follow XPS’s lead. I haven’t heard any good reason why firms with today’s technology can’t make progress towards 21-day routine DC to DC transfers from start to finish.”

Tom McPhail, Founding Chair of STAR added: “This is a special moment for STAR, as XPS is the first major Third Party Administrator to sign up to the STAR transfers framework. We’re in active dialogue with others and hope to make further announcements soon. We’ve now got insurers, platforms, fund managers, mastertrusts, technology providers and major TPAs all working to a common framework for the benefit of consumers and set to enjoy operating cost savings from the greater efficiencies it brings. I’d encourage any firm either directly or indirectly involved in transfers, to look at joining STAR.”