The People's Pension
B&CE, the provider of The People’s Pension, joined our Options Transfers service in April 2015 and along with 85 other leading financial services brands, they and their customers, now enjoy the benefits of speedy pension transfers.
For many organisations, transferring pensions brings several things to mind. Firstly, paperwork. Mountains of discharge and LTA forms which can get lost, need re-work and then lots of chasing. Secondly, the time it takes to conduct a paper-based manual transfer. It can be a slow process which can take weeks and involve the time of a dedicated team, or teams in some cases. Lastly, lack of control and the associated risks. Without efficient case tracking the reconciliation of cases, and various monies, becomes an arduous task, making it all the more difficult to keep the member up to speed with their transfer. But, it doesn’t have to be this way, there is another way, an easier way which gives you full control – automation.
(eServices Adoption and Marketing Manager, Origo Services) interviewed Chris Reilly (Pension Transfer Manager, B&CE) to find out why B&CE chose to automate their transfers through Origo’s Options Transfers service – the industry’s most complete pensions transfers service.
The Q & A
Identifying needs: How did you recognise the need for faster transfers within your organisation?
At B&CE and The People’s Pension we are continuously looking to improve both the efficiency of our processes and the service offered to members of our pension schemes. There wasn’t any one driver for us but as the volume of members grew in our schemes, so did the number of transfer requests.
We knew there were opportunities for us to continue improving our transfer processing and signing up to the Options Transfer service was a logical step for us.
Key benefits: What did you see as the main benefits to automating your transfers?
We were fortunate in that we have never had long turnaround times and were able to process our transfers efficiently before we implemented the system. But we were, of course, still hamstrung by having to use the postal service and the inevitable paper chase that exists when processing transfers outside of the Options service.
Paper discharge forms, chasing to ceding schemes for updates, information being sent to the wrong departments, all are now thankfully a thing of the past.
Choosing a service: Why Options Transfers?
We analysed the level of transfer requests we received, both as a receiving and ceding scheme, to see which other institutions we had the most contact with.
Armed with this information we could investigate services in the market to see what offering would best meet our requirements. All of the other providers we knew we had to regularly interact with were signed up and using the Options platform. So market coverage was really key for us.
Getting set up: Did you receive all the support you needed from the Origo team?
The set up and system orientation were excellent. Like many things when you first look at a new system it can appear daunting. But two things really helped our teams get to grips with the service. Firstly, the support from Origo was very comprehensive, we had in house training and being able to work on cases with the experts there was very useful.
Secondly, the system itself is intuitive. If you understand the transfer process as our teams do, then getting to grips with the service is quite straightforward. The interface is simple and easy to follow. Once you have navigated a few cases it becomes second nature.
Impressive features: What surprised you about the service?
Well the speed of the system and the overall ease of use was refreshing.A recurring problem we used to face, before Options, was matching and identifying payments when they came in. Now every payment has a reference and is easily reconcilable.
Team benefits: What are the main benefits you have experienced since going live on the service?
There are many benefits of the service, but being able to ask members just to sign our transfer application and then using the Common Declaration as the ceding scheme discharge form has just cut out so many steps from the typical non Options transfer.
Historically the industry has asked any member wishing to transfer their pension to fill in at least two forms. One to tell the receiving provider they want to transfer their old pot, and another to tell the ceding scheme they want to transfer out. By simplifying the process through the Common Declaration it is now much simpler. Members are no longer faced with a long discharge form full of technical jargon they don’t understand. They can just sign the application form and let the two providers deal with the administration.
Member benefits: Do you feel Options Transfers has enhanced the service you are providing to members?
Yes, and in many ways.
Using the service simplifies the process for all involved, both for transfers in and out of any organisation. Members can sign one form with their new provider and not have to deal with further forms coming through the post weeks after the original request.
The whole process can now be completed in days, rather than weeks. We can see the status of all our live cases so our administration teams can monitor and review the transfer pipeline which allows us to proactively review cases or get updates in real time.
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