Drawdown customers will be able to make withdrawals from their pensions and change their income levels themselves through new technology to be launched by Delta Financial Systems in Q4 of this year.
The pensions and retirement administration technology provider says it is currently trialling systems to fully automate the process of a benefit crystallisation event. Delta says the initial launch is likely to be for desktop web access rather than mobile.
Following the launch of pension freedoms in 2015 some Sipp providers made claims they were within months of launching an ATM card for their Sipp, although these never materialised.
However, Delta, which delivers software services to several big providers, says the ability to fully realise pension freedoms online is a matter of months away – with the technology enabling funds to be accessed on an execution-only basis as well as on an advised basis. It is urging pensions professionals to prepare for a world where the technology will exist that allows scheme members to access their pension pots directly, making withdrawals at the time of their choosing.
Delta recently appointed Iain Tait from Sipp provider James Hay Partnership, where he was chief information officer. He takes an identical role at Delta where he will be responsible for driving the development of business and technology strategy to deliver products for the lifetime savings market. He will also be responsible for the accelerated roll out of its new Platinum-Pro technology platform.
Tait says: “The only reason lots of people are not accessing their pension is because it is not possible. We are at a moment where the industry needs to understand that this technology is coming. This is a huge market, with a lot of assets, yet for the very first time our technology will be able to allow scheme members access to their money. Administrators and advisers need to think about the appropriate way to give this flexibility to members.
“The easier part of the process is developing the functionality to change income levels. The harder part thing is the very first benefit crystallisation event.”