A photo of a red British post box

To overcome the ongoing unpredictability of the global postal service, GBPensions has set up a postal drop-box and telephone service in the UK, specifically to handle UK correspondence.

Although much of the financial industry has embraced the numerous benefits of online communication and transactions, the cross-border pension transfer sector remains entrenched in more traditional – frustratingly slow and arguably less efficient – methods.

GBPensions’ director Tony Chamberlain explains, “Almost without exception, hard copy originals have to be posted to and from the pension companies in the UK. Even though they have fax machines, this technology doesn’t work over international telephone lines and e-mail’s a complete non-starter because many of them don’t have an external e-mail system.”

Covid-19 restrictions have had an enormous impact on worldwide logistics, with the postal service being no exception. “Whereas it used to take two to three weeks to receive paperwork from the UK, it can now easily take two to three months, or more,” Tony says. “And remember you need to double that because we have to send it back.” All of which makes an already complex process all the more stressful due to the potentially tight submission and approval deadlines.

By establishing a local address for UK correspondence, GBPensions is aiming to streamline communications between Britain and New Zealand. “Our Cambridgeshire-based administrator can scan and e-mail documents to us so we can get to work while the originals are on their way in the post. Naturally, our contractor has been suitably vetted and clients can be assured of the same standards of discretion and digital security with regards to their privacy and confidential information.”