Hargreaves Lansdown has called on the pensions industry to rediscover its momentum in reducing pension transfer times, but warned that policymakers should also stand ready to mandate progress.
Average pension transfer times have dramatically fallen from 50 days to between 10 and 12 days over the last six years, thanks to industry initiatives.
However, Hargreaves Lansdown said that progress has now stalled, and for some occupational pension schemes transfer times remain as high as 39 days.
As a result, the firm is calling on pension providers to commit to a maximum of seven days in switching savers' funds.
The move would bring pension savings in line with similar programmes offered in the banking sector.
Speaking to City A.M., Hargreaves Lansdown's head of retirement policy Tom McPhail said that he hoped such a drive could be led by industry, but warned that policymakers should be prepared to step in.
“This requires co-ordinated and concerted action to get to where we are trying to get to,” McPhail said.
“The industry has achieved a great deal already but it seems to have lost its momentum. So the question is whether it can regain that, because if not, policymakers should step in, be that the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] or the Treasury, itself.”
The government closed a consultation on transfer times in February, instead opting to introduce new requirements to increase transparency.