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The ViaNova Working Group and TISA Exchange (TeX) complete first of its kind pension transfer, paving the way for future automated transfers

July 12, 2022

  • The ViaNova working group and TISA Exchange (TeX) have completed a first of its kind pension transfer with WTW.
  • The transfer was the first ever for DC Occupational Pension schemes and the whole process for the ceding scheme took 6 working days – a significant saving compared to the usual 6-8 weeks’ transfer time.
  • Early adopters include WTW LifeSight Master Trust and two large DC occupational schemes managed together with Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity.

The ViaNova working group announced today that (WTW) Willis Towers Watson has processed the first ever live transfers within the Defined Contribution Occupational space as ViaNova and Tisa Exchange (TeX) completed their first transaction.

The transfer was the first of its kind, the initial request took only 30 minutes. The same approach can readily be adopted in other areas, including Defined Benefit (DB) transfers. The new mechanism uses an open standard over secure and reliable networks. 

The ViaNova initiative brings together both pension regulated and FCA regulated schemes. Enhancing the speed of transfers within a secure and reliable framework is part of ViaNova and TeX’s joint aim of improving member experience 

The initiative combined open standard solutions with a common legal framework to streamline DC transfer processing. TeX is responsible for the legal framework, managing and running the complete set of non-commercial contracts between parties that cover standards, service level agreements and matters of liability concerning all aspects of transfers.

The ViaNova group will continue to look at ways in supporting the industry, including the use of DB transfers.

Andy Hussey, Systems Development Director (WTW) and Co-Chair of ViaNova working group said: “The completion of this transfer is a major milestone and shows the benefit of working with all parties within the industry. Through the use of open standards, we can ensure that pension regulated schemes and the Master Trusts will be supported in the future as and when transfer regulations are introduced.  Our role in the industry is now to increase the number of adopters and build on the success of this new electronic transfer process. 

“I would like to thank the ViaNova group, TeX, Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity for their support in making this all possible.”

David Moffat, Chair, TeX said: “This is a major achievement for the industry and highlights the successful collaboration between product providers and third party administrators in the UK corporate pension industry with the TISA Exchange (TeX).”

Fiona Matthews, Managing Director, LifeSight said: “LifeSight is a strong advocate for enhancing members engagement and experience with their DC pension providers.  Achieving faster transfer processing for those wishing to consolidate their pensions is a significant milestone, and a welcome improvement in the industry.  We would like to see each tPR regulated DC pension scheme and master trust to sign up and enable this valuable improvement to become the much needed industry standard”

Liorah Barratt, Operations Manager, Hargreaves Lansdown said:“Transferring electronically is significantly easier and quicker than manual processing, vastly improving the client experience and outcomes. We hope that this encourages wider adoption across other providers. By working closely with providers like Willis Towers Watson, we can make great strides towards the digital automation of transfers. Thank you to everyone involved allowing this to be a success.”

 James Tomlin, Senior Manager, Fidelity said: This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how we can simplify and speed up the transfer process and this will benefit clients, trustees, advisers and employers. Collaboration and a desire to change drove this initiative and we need to get more providers, platforms and schemes onboard. We know this system works and we can share this with you if you want to be part of faster transfers.”