New data from the not-for-profit financial technology firm Origo - which has been handling the industry’s automated pension transfers through its Options Transfers since 2008 - show it has transferred £130 billion of pensions money in that time.
Year-on-year data from Origo revealed that the volume and value of pension transfers have increased for yet another year with £31 billion of pensions money being moved by the service in 2017. The service carried out over half-a-million transfers during the year. The average age for people transferring a pension is 53.
The latest data from Options Transfer shows a dramatic rise in transfer volumes through the service in the years since the Pensions Freedoms were announced:
Jan – Dec 2014: £17.3 billion
Jan – Dec 2015: £21.5 billion
Jan – Dec 2016: £24.3 billion
Jan – Dec 2017: £30.9 billion
The Options Transfers data also revealed that transfers into SIPPs dominated the pension transfer market in 2017, accounting for 51% of all transfers, said ORIGO.
There was a 30% increase in volumes and a 39% increase in the value of the transactions into SIPPs over 2016 figures, revealed the fintech.
Anthony Rafferty, managing director of Origo, said: “Origo’s Options Transfers service continues to prove its value to the industry, with increased volumes and values of transactions passing through the service year-on-year, while ensuring an average transfer time of 10 calendar days.
“As more and more people have sought to move their pension money where it can benefit from the greater flexibility offered under the new rules, so the volumes have risen. Transfers are likely to continue as more people reach the age at which they will want to consider transferring their pension to access the Freedoms. Our data shows that the average age for people transferring their pension is 53.
“SIPPs in particular have seen an influx of business, with an increase of 50% in transfers through the Options Transfers service since 2015 and a 67% increase in values in the same period.”
Some 32 new customers having signed to the Options Transfers since 2015.
In 2018, the service will be extended to pensions re-registration, he said: “The upward trend of pensions re-registration is only going to continue. Re-registration offers many benefits to the consumer, including not having to liquidate assets (sell and re-buy) which could cause a taxable event, as well as keeping the consumer in the market.”
Mr Rafferty revealed that he expects transfer volumes to continue to grow in the year ahead.