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Retirement Fairness Index

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The ‘Index’ reveals the true damage ceding companies are inflicting on the over 55’s personal finances. 

Mercer is the worst culprit for delaying the release customers’ money according to My Pension Expert’s Retirement Fairness Index.  The game-changing index, which launched today, has revealed the permanent damage ceding companies can inflict on their customer’s finances.

Data collected from October 1st 2017 to March 31st 2018 reveals that Mercer takes a whopping 113 days to release its funds to clients looking to switch retirement income providers. This is 85 days longer than the RFI’s most consumer friendly company Sanlam, which takes just 28 days to release funds.  Check out our Infographic to find out more.

Click here to download the RFI infographic

Provider Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Av. Days Av. Days – 28 Cost to customer per provider
Sanlam 37 20 28 0 £0.00
NFU Mutual 0 29 29 1 £10.47
Reassure 27 40 33 5 £52.35
Prudential 44 21 33 5 £52.35
Canada Life 49 20 34 6 £62.82
Legal & General 51 24 37 9 £94.23
Phoenix 44 30 37 9 £94.23
Sun Life Financial of Canada 26 50 38 10 £104.70
Hargreaves Lansdown 44 37 40 12 £125.64
B&CE 54 29 42 14 £146.58
Scottish Widows 55 32 43 15 £157.05
Standard Life 51 38 44 16 £167.52
Clerical Medical 53 36 44 16 £167.52
Halifax 0 44 44 16 £167.52
Friends Life 43 47 45 17 £177.99
Black Rock 54 36 45 17 £177.99
Abbey Life 49 41 45 17 £177.99
Wesleyan 47 0 47 19 £198.93
Old Mutual Wealth 66 34 50 22 £230.34
Aviva 59 41 50 22 £230.34
Aegon 58 44 51 23 £240.81
Royal London 61 50 55 27 £282.69
Liverpool Victoria 58 58 58 30 £314.10
Virgin 63 56 59 31 £324.57
Zurich 72 47 59 31 £324.57
Just Retirement 74 49 62 34 £355.98
Fidelity 78 52 65 37 £387.39
Equitable Life 79 58 68 40 £418.80
Met Life 69 0 69 41 £429.27
Towers Watson 67 70 69 41 £429.27
Countrywide Assured 76 0 76 48 £502.56
Capita 70 86 78 50 £523.50
Reliance Mutual 95 0 95 67 £701.49
Mercer 113 0 113 85 £889.95

Industry regulations make it impossible to release pension funds immediately, however Mercer’s delay undermines the FCA’s initiative for consumers to shop around for the best deal. My Pension Expert (MPE) has calculated that Mercer is costing its’ clients £889.95[1], the equivalent of just over 4 months’ worth of food shopping[2].

Shockingly, Mercer is not the only company to leave their customers permanently out of pocket. Reliance Mutual take 67 days longer than Sanlam to release funds, whilst Capita take 50 days longer; such delays cost customers £701.49 and £523.50 respectively.

MPE has pledged to continue holding ceding companies to account for their negligence through the quarterly publication of the Retirement Fairness Index. It is hoped that the RFI will prompt monitoring bodies to take decisive action against unfair ceding company policies.

These irreversible financial loses to consumers are simply not acceptable. It’s hard to believe such practices have gone unchallenged for so long. As shocking as MPE’s research is, it acts as a much needed wake up call to the sector. We intend to continue monitoring ceding companies and hold them to account. We will also be approaching the FCA with our findings and hope to work with them to ensure that the sector puts consumers first.

Andrew Megson, Executive Chairman – My Pension Expert

[1] Average Daily Income calculated from an average of 973 MPE clients between 01/01/18 – 31/03/18

[2] Figures obtained from Family spending in the UK: financial year ending 2017: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/bulletins/familyspendingintheuk/financialyearending2017

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