The STAR initiative, created as a collaboration between Criterion and TeX, is the only cross industry solution bringing together platforms, ISA managers, pension companies, asset managers and transfer agents, galvanising the industry, to put in place service level agreements to ensure quick, efficient and predictable transfers and re-registration.
Irish Retiretech Platform TontineTrust has now joined the initiative. TontineTrust is an award winning fintech / fiduciary organisation building a platform for issuing and operating Tontine-style Pan-European Personal Pensions (PEPPs) & Collective Defined Contribution pension schemes. Backed by Enterprise Ireland, the firm employs 20 people and is already setting new standards for pension excellence amongst savers by using state-of-the art technology to enable simple, safe, low-fee lifetime income solutions.
Richard Kent, Head of Governance at TontineTrust commenting said:
We are delighted to support the STAR initiative which demonstrates our commitment to consumers and industry stakeholders. Not only will it be a vehicle to showcase performance, but will also reduce complaints, queries, referrals, and additional work, which will assist in eliminating levels of additional administration and associated costs.
Dean McClelland, TontineTrust’s Founder commenting said:
“In the past, incumbents retained customers was to make it too much trouble for them to leave. In the digital world, you focus on consumer needs and enable them to judge your product on its own merits. The sign of a great digital product provider is that they make it easy to leave but then double down on improving their product & consumer experience so that you will never actually want to. Our philosophy is to offer the ‘perfect’ pension product at a very low cost and then to continuously work to make it better and better. Making it easy for consumers to move to or from our platform is part of our duty to members of our schemes. It’s also good business sense”.
The STAR initiative is the collaboration between industry standards bodies Criterion and TeX, aimed at improving the speed of transfer across the investment, pensions and savings markets. STAR is backed by the Financial Conduct Authority, The Pensions Regulator and Department of Work and Pensions, as the only cross-industry solution to improve transfer times, bringing together platforms, pension providers, asset managers and service providers, to put in place service level agreements to ensure quick, efficient and predictable transfers and re-registration for customers.
Andrew Marker, Chair of the STAR Steering Group and Head of Retail Pension, Vanguard Asset Management Limited said:
“We are delighted that TontineTrust has shown their support for STAR which continues to grow. The initiative has galvanised the industry to create long-term solutions to improve the customer experience of transferring pensions, savings and investments between companies, by setting transfer targets, measuring each firm’s performance against a good practice framework, accrediting firms and publishing results.
STAR aims to become the single, authoritative source of transfer data on how firms are performing. It will publish a quarterly industry index to help industry participants benchmark their own performance and provide transparency for consumers. This will work hand-in-hand with an annual accreditation scheme of bronze, silver and gold, so that performance can be evidenced, rewarded and improvements encouraged.”
With a broad cross-section of the financial services industry signed up to STAR, momentum is growing and it will be increasingly beneficial for companies to join the initiative, both on operational and competitive grounds. It will also give investors and customers confidence in the transfer process.”
During September, platforms – Aegon, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown and Standard Life – contacted their fund groups requesting they support the STAR Transfers & Re-Registration initiative.
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