STAR initiative awards industry transfers accreditations - the largest piece of industry collaboration for decades
21 November 2022
A new award scheme has been launched, to tackle the issue of the amount of time it takes to transfer savings, investments and pensions electronically from one company to another. The industry has faced criticism for its inability to transfer in a timely manner. Consumers have become used to transfers taking many weeks, often months, to complete, which is unacceptable compared with other sectors within financial services. The STAR initiative, backed by the regulators and the government, is the only cross industry solution bringing together platforms, providers, life companies, service providers and transfer agents / asset managers. It is the largest piece of industry collaboration for decades and firms volunteer to participate. The STAR delivery team is made up of members of Criterion and TeX, two not-for-profit organisations.
The initiative has galvanised the industry to improve the customer experience of transferring pensions, savings, and investments between companies, by setting and measuring against a good practice framework. To date 76 firms have signed up to STAR, which officially launched in January 2019, and its membership is committed to shaping recognised, industry-wide standards to promote good practice in transfers. Of these 76 firms, 18 have now been accredited.
Each participating organisation has been reporting on their Management Information (MI) to allow for the accreditation of STAR members to reflect their performance within the transfer journey. Each service level (SLA) product group has been given detailed and individual consideration through robust governance, via the STAR Implementation Group. The STAR SLA Groups are:
- ISA and GIA
- Personal Pensions, SIPP and SSAS
- Occupational Pensions
- Asset Managers
STAR accreditation is designed to measure and accredit transfer performance across the industry. There are three STAR accreditation levels, which are based on performance: gold, silver, and bronze, which are designed to both reward good performance and encourage improved performance. The accreditation thresholds are set through industry collaboration by the STAR Accreditation Steering Group and monitored by the STAR Steering Group. Organisations have been accredited in 2022 for submitting at least nine consecutive month’s transfers data.
STAR accreditations are based on several factors. One area of good performance can’t outweigh the poor performance in another. It is a balanced approach and awards are thoroughly checked before they are given to an organisation. STAR accreditations are measured on a range of Key Performance Indicators not only on the overall transfer time, as there are also a lot of mitigating factors to consider when reviewing the overall performance of an organisation.
STAR concluded that the best way to fairly judge an organisation was to set up a points based metric system with an organisation being scored on several key areas such as :-
- The average number of days to transfer a customer’s assets
- How they communicate with their customers on that journey
- What percentage of their electronic transfers were reported for this accreditation
The average Ceding Party times for bronze, silver and gold accredited transfers across each SLA group are:
- ISA = 12.7 days
- GIA = 14.8 days
- Personal Pension, SIPP, SSAS = 12.7 days
- Occupational Pensions = 21.9 days
(Asset management firms provided full MI, so there is no average but 99.4% of reported Asset re-registrations were completed within the 2 Fund Calendar days SLA).
Accreditations were initially going to take place earlier this year, but instead, a considered approach has been taken as three months of data was too short a timeframe and only provided a snapshot of performance. The preference of nine months data is more representative, more robust and makes the initiative more credible.
Full details of the accreditations are available on our website.
For further information please contact:
Commercial and Marketing Director
0773 765 0010
STAR was created as a collaboration between Criterion and TeX, combining the industry-reach, unique strengths, experience and shared ambition of the two not-for-profit organisations.
Criterion was formed for the industry in July 2017, as an independent, not-for-profit industry body providing Standards and Governance services. It was originally part of Origo Services Ltd and has been publishing process and integration standards for over 25 years. Criterion is uniquely positioned to facilitate and drive cross-industry engagement, helping organisations achieve higher levels of collaboration, reduce costs and achieve better outcomes for their consumers.
TeX is a not-for-profit organisation which works with the industry to ensure that the maximum benefit is provided to all members. This new company is financially independent from TISA but benefits from being linked to the TISA brand through name, the expertise provided by the two corporate entity directorships and the administrative support provided by TISA.