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Altus welcomes DWP decision to select ‘open standard’ pension transfers


Altus Business Systems has welcomed the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to use open standard pension transfers for the automatic pot-follows-member initiative.

Altus says the move is a ‘huge step forward’ for improving customer outcomes in the pensions industry.
Altus Business Systems believes that today’s decision from the DWP will unite the different parts of the pensions industry with a single open standard and mean that pension transfers can take place freely between all providers. As well as achieving the DWPs immediate aims of aggregating small pension pots for individuals, it will also allow members to more easily transfer their pensions between providers to take advantage of the better deals and more innovative products appearing on the pensions market.
The Bath based provider of business systems has endorsed the DWP’s decision to mandate the use of the ISO 20022 messaging standards for both the ‘pot matching’ and ‘pot transfer’ process.   
Ben Cocks, Head of Altus Business Systems, says: ‘We are wholly supportive of today’s decision from the DWP to embrace open standard pension transfers and believe this is a huge step forward for the industry and, more importantly, for the customers it serves. We have long been committed to the use of open standards and we have seen from other initiatives for ISA transfers and pension fund trading how their use drives innovation and competition between technology vendors, increased efficiency and reduced overheads for the industry, and ultimately a better service and lower costs for consumers.
‘We are aware that the timescales set by the DWP will appear demanding to some parts of the industry. However, we are committed to helping the industry meet those timescales. We already have a compliant ‘pot-transfer’ service in operation and will be launching a ‘pot-transfer’ service later this year once we have worked through the details with the DWP.
‘In short, this development is a great opportunity for all parts of the pensions industry to work together to make sure that customers get a good deal from the dramatic change the pensions industry is undergoing.’

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