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    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 11:23 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    timbo1955
    Phoenix Life (Pension) website
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:23 AM
    Phoenix Life (Pension) website 20th Mar 17 at 11:23 AM
    Hi,

    You experts have probably been wise enough to steer clear of Phoenix Life but if any of you are still saddled with them, are you having the same problems with their web site as I am? Chrome warns me that their "Secure On Line Access" is not secure but even if I ignore its warnings I still can't get onto the site. IE gets me in but the site doesn't let me near my actual account. The web site has never worked properly, forever saying that "due to system maintenance" I can't access my account, or that I'm already logged on when I'm not and that I must try again later, etc., but it's only recently shut me out completely. Is it just me?

    The company is as bad as its site. They told me they allowed UFPLSs but when I went to take one they said I could only take the whole pension fund. That's not what the government intended. Anyone know whether there's any chance this will change - I can get no sense from PL. For years they've just said that they are looking into the possibility.

    Thank you.
Page 1
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    • 88,147 Posts
    • 53,375 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    You experts have probably been wise enough to steer clear of Phoenix Life
    You dont get a lot of choice in the matter. You don't pick to be with Phoenix. They buy dead or near death insurers or those looking to exit the market. So, you end up with Phoenix not by choice.

    The web site has never worked properly, forever saying that "due to system maintenance" I can't access my account, or that I'm already logged on when I'm not and that I must try again later, etc
    There is little or no money put into legacy systems. Most of the systems were built by their original insurer. Phoenix will try and get them over to their own systems if it is viable but in many cases the costs do not make sense for the small number of people on a certain type of contract. ie. cost of moving a type of plan may be £5million but if there is only 1000 people with that contract it doesn't make sense to do it.

    They told me they allowed UFPLSs but when I went to take one they said I could only take the whole pension fund. That's not what the government intended.
    Phoenix do have plans that allow UFPLS. They have some that do not.

    Anyone know whether there's any chance this will change - I can get no sense from PL.
    Again, it comes down to volume of people vs the cost of changing it. I would suggest it is unlikely on most of their contracts.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • coyrls
    • By coyrls 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    • 782 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    coyrls
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:29 AM
    I can't help you with your Website questions but if PL do not offer the options you require and/or you are dissatisfied with their service, why don’t you transfer your pension to another provider?
    • Linton
    • By Linton 20th Mar 17, 11:38 AM
    • 7,910 Posts
    • 7,711 Thanks
    Linton
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:38 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:38 AM
    In my experience Phoenix are competent and efficient. You misunderstand the situation with the new pension freedoms. All the government did was to remove the legal restrictions preventing free access, they did not and could not force the pension companies to implement the facility.

    Phoenix as a company buys in old pensions and continues to run them when the original providers no longer want to. These schemes will be based on old computer software running possibly on old computers. There is no way that the cost of rewriting all this software can be justified - would you be prepared to pay massive rises in fees? It isnt just Phoenix that are in this situation, it applies to old pension schemes run by all pension companies. If you wish to make use of facilities not provided by your old pension the simple answer is to transfer it to another provider/pension which does.

    The similar situation could well apply to online access. If the pension scheme never supported online access in the past it probably wont do in the future. Again the software costs would be horrendous.
    • Elijah Bailey
    • By Elijah Bailey 20th Mar 17, 11:48 AM
    • 59 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    Elijah Bailey
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:48 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:48 AM
    The state of PL and its website is not going to change. They do not manage new business so there is no reason, no legislation nor any incentive to revise their systems. Its all old business.

    The website is a joke but I have found written communication still works (and quicker than I expected). I still have one small pension there which I cannot contribute to but the transfer out fee is a complete joke. I was advised by them that if I wait until I am 55 the new cap on transfers will apply and 1% will be the maximum fee.

    They will never be a modern pension provider with modern drawdown facilities and smartphone apps. PL may be slow but there are worse things in the pension world than sluggish umbrella companies.
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 12:36 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:36 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:36 PM
    Thanks for the messages. I know the kind of business PL runs and don't expect a bells and whistles website but it used to work. It no longer does. You get access through what looks like a subsidiary business at secure-online-access.net so it's ironic that the address bar includes a Not Secure message. I simply can't get on to the site any more. Surely it's not asking much to be able to see how little my fund is worth.
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 12:39 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:39 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:39 PM
    Linton - I don't misunderstand, I know a company doesn't HAVE to offer them but I think the government intended that they should, and when I asked and was told they would you must understand my disappointment when they then said no.
    Last edited by timbo1955; 20-03-2017 at 1:00 PM.
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 12:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:46 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:46 PM
    Elijah Bailey, Thanks. You say the web site is a joke, but can you actually get on at all it now?
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 12:52 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:52 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:52 PM
    I can't help you with your Website questions but if PL do not offer the options you require and/or you are dissatisfied with their service, why don’t you transfer your pension to another provider?
    Originally posted by coyrls
    Thanks for the reply. I've moved one fund out but they keep hinting that partial withdrawals will be allowed and I just want to take the cash without paying tax. There will be various costs, charges and losses in transferring so I'm loath to do that but there's probably no alternative.
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 1:10 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    Actually, can I simplify the question and just ask whether anyone with an account and registered for on line access can still get into their account?

    Cheers.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 20th Mar 17, 2:29 PM
    • 88,147 Posts
    • 53,375 Thanks
    dunstonh
    It may be useful to ask which legacy company you are with as Phoenix covers so many different companies. No point someone answering you on an ex-Pearl policy handled out of Peterborough when yours is say a Scottish Mutual plan.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 20th Mar 17, 3:38 PM
    • 21,647 Posts
    • 12,450 Thanks
    xylophone
    OP, if your prime considerations are ease of access, an excellent website and efficient administration, had you thought of a transfer out to Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP?
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 3:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    OP, if your prime considerations are ease of access, an excellent website and efficient administration, had you thought of a transfer out to Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP?
    Originally posted by xylophone
    That's what I did with one fund but right now my sole consideration is whether anyone else can get secure-online-access.net to work. It doesn't matter who my original provider was, I don't get that far into the site, or onto it at all in fact.
    Last edited by timbo1955; 20-03-2017 at 4:09 PM.
    • woolly_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 20th Mar 17, 3:54 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    woolly_wombat
    That's what I did with one fund but right now my sole consideration is whether anyone else can get secure-online-access.net to work. It doesn't matter who my original provider was, I don't get that far into the site, or onto it all in fact.
    Originally posted by timbo1955
    Have you tried ringing them?
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 20th Mar 17, 4:12 PM
    • 88,147 Posts
    • 53,375 Thanks
    dunstonh
    It doesn't matter who my original provider was
    It does because phoenix operate different systems for the different legacy companies. Someone with a Scot Mutual policy may reply telling you theirs is working fine. That is no use to you if yours is not Scot Mut.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 20th Mar 17, 4:19 PM
    • 21,647 Posts
    • 12,450 Thanks
    xylophone
    It does because phoenix operate different systems for the different legacy companies. Someone with a Scot Mutual policy may reply telling you theirs is working fine. That is no use to you if yours is not Scot Mut.
    http://www.phoenixlife.co.uk/customer-centre

    OP, have you tried the above?
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 4:39 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    phoenixlife/customer-centre

    OP, have you tried the above?
    Originally posted by xylophone
    I cannot quote the site address!?

    Yes, that's how I get to SOLA which doesn't work. I still think that if I cannot get as far as SOLA then it makes no odds who my provider was but if you, not you Xylophone, can think of a way it can then my original policy was with Pearl at Peterborough. It's like if I can't get onto Barclays website then it doesn't matter whether I wanted to ask about my branch in Aberdeen or one in Falmouth.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 20th Mar 17, 5:05 PM
    • 6,401 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    It's like if I can't get onto Barclays website then it doesn't matter whether I wanted to ask about my branch in Aberdeen or one in Falmouth.
    Originally posted by timbo1955
    No it's not.
    • timbo1955
    • By timbo1955 20th Mar 17, 5:09 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    timbo1955
    No it's not.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Yes it is. Just as it doesn't help knowing which forum I want to post on if I can't get on to MSE at all.
    Last edited by timbo1955; 20-03-2017 at 5:14 PM.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 20th Mar 17, 5:41 PM
    • 5,159 Posts
    • 4,331 Thanks
    mgdavid
    http://www.phoenixlife.co.uk/customer-centre

    OP, have you tried the above?
    Originally posted by xylophone
    I can access that website just fine.
    Following 'Contact centre' then provides an option 'I wish to make a complaint'
    Follow that and it says:
    ' To find the contact details for our customer centre team responsible for your policy, please enter the name of the company your policy was with before it became part of Phoenix Life e.g Cornhill, or select your provider by clicking on full list.'
    As others have said there are literally dozens and dozens of old companies on the list - it obviously does matter who you were with.
    Have you made a formal complaint yet?

    PS - I had an old pension which ended up with Phoenix, when I retired I was going to transfer it out - until I asked and found out it had a guaranteed annuity rate of over 8%, so of course I stuck with them. Happy days !
    A salary slave no more.....
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