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  • FIRST POST
    • leelums21
    • By leelums21 19th Jun 17, 9:21 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    leelums21
    I have 3 pensions 2 with friends life 1 with aviva
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 17, 9:21 AM
    I have 3 pensions 2 with friends life 1 with aviva 19th Jun 17 at 9:21 AM
    I have 3 pensions 2 with friends life 1 with aviva as they are both merging is it worth me merging them into 1 or should I leave
    as is as I will probably face charges on 2 when they pay out. help v much appreciated.
Page 1
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 19th Jun 17, 10:10 AM
    • 89,603 Posts
    • 56,093 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:10 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:10 AM
    I have 3 pensions 2 with friends life 1 with aviva as they are both merging is it worth me merging them into 1 or should I leave
    as is as I will probably face charges on 2 when they pay out. help v much appreciated.
    Originally posted by leelums21
    Is it better to consolidate them or not?

    You haven't given as anything to go on. So, we cannot say as we know nothing about them.

    Your assumption it costs more to have more pensions is not correct. For example. if you have 1 pension costing 1% or 10 pensions each costing 0.5% then the 10 pensions are cheaper than the one.

    Without an analysis of the existing plans vs the alternatives available to you, there is no way anyone on the internet can answer your question.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • leelums21
    • By leelums21 19th Jun 17, 12:33 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    leelums21
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 12:33 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 12:33 PM
    thanks for answering what kind of info do you need the life one is £17000 an the aviva bout £2000
    what other info do you need thanks again.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 19th Jun 17, 5:18 PM
    • 10,725 Posts
    • 7,014 Thanks
    bigadaj
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:18 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:18 PM
    thanks for answering what kind of info do you need the life one is £17000 an the aviva bout £2000
    what other info do you need thanks again.
    Originally posted by leelums21
    Dunstonh is a regulated adviser so has to be careful in his responses, I'm not so have a little more leeway.

    My opinion is that you need to contact them and ask them what charges are being incurred, and whether there are any guarantees in existence. Also are these with profits or unit linked, if no guarantees then transferring to a totally new pension may be best, charges have reduced over the years. The other thing is investment choice, which again has improved on newer policies.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 20th Jun 17, 11:26 AM
    • 28,070 Posts
    • 154,327 Thanks
    Karmacat
    • #5
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:26 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:26 AM
    I'm sort of in the same boat - one pension with Friends Life, one with Aviva. Put them together, and they tip me over the £30k threshold.

    I've been trying to work out, this morning, whether the £30k threshold actually applies to me, and the quotes on the government website that I've found (which I've summarised on my diary on mfw for safekeeping, so to speak).

    They have a mini questionnaire about what sort of pension you have, and when I answered, they said "From what you’ve told us you have a defined contribution pension. These are sometimes known as ‘money purchase’ pensions. The amount you get depends on how much was paid in and how well the investments have done. You choose how to take money from your pension pot."

    Yep - both the pensions concerned are private, as I've been self employed for 30 years or so.

    Another page on the PensionWise website says: "
    you have to have IFA advice if you have a defined contribution pension worth more than £30k with a guarantee about what you'll be paid when you retire".

    That's where it gets interesting, because I *don't* have that guarantee.

    So my question is: am I right in my research, that although I have a defined contribution pension, because I don't have a guarantee about what I'll be paid when I retire, I'm not one of those who are forced into consulting an IFA?
    Retired August 2016
    • Linton
    • By Linton 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • 8,496 Posts
    • 8,445 Thanks
    Linton
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    There is no requirement to consult an IFA if you want to transfer a DC pension with no guarantees.
    • greenglide
    • By greenglide 21st Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    • 2,898 Posts
    • 1,868 Thanks
    greenglide
    • #7
    • 21st Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    You could look up the name of the scheme (or the name of the employer) at the government site https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details .

    Failing this ask the ex employer for details of who the scheme is with.
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 25th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 272 Thanks
    Mnd
    • #8
    • 25th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    We have just received a letter telling us that friends life is being taken over by aviva, so it may become easier to do what you want in the future
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 25th Jun 17, 11:02 PM
    • 89,603 Posts
    • 56,093 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #9
    • 25th Jun 17, 11:02 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Jun 17, 11:02 PM
    We have just received a letter telling us that friends life is being taken over by aviva, so it may become easier to do what you want in the future
    Originally posted by Mnd
    Aviva bought FL a couple of years ago. They have been slowly integrating bits of it and will be rebranding FL to Aviva. However, it won't make much of a difference for a long time as legacy policies will retain their policy conditions. It is just several more legacy systems for Aviva to handle on top of the other legacy systems they have built up over the years.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 26th Jun 17, 10:13 AM
    • 28,070 Posts
    • 154,327 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Aviva bought FL a couple of years ago. They have been slowly integrating bits of it and will be rebranding FL to Aviva. However, it won't make much of a difference for a long time as legacy policies will retain their policy conditions. It is just several more legacy systems for Aviva to handle on top of the other legacy systems they have built up over the years.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Thanks dunstonh. The thing is, while I trust both companies in terms of what they do with my money, I don't really trust *any* big company enough to ignore the 6 page letter and two booklets. It's going to make a difference at some stage, and I think I'll get in before the rush to make some changes. Good to know this, though.
    Retired August 2016
    • Little Miss Moneysaver
    • By Little Miss Moneysaver 28th Aug 17, 8:59 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Little Miss Moneysaver
    AMC on Friends Life reduced due to Aviva merger + Login suspended
    Hello dunstonh, and all you clever people on this forum !

    I also have a Friends Life personal pension policy (which was originally AXA, then became Friends Life, and is now bought out by Aviva).

    I have only invested in Friends Life "own internal funds" - to keep charges low. There are no other benefits that came with it, when it was set up by an IFA 10 years ago (i.e. no guaranteed annuity rates, no investment in "with-proft funds").

    It's not performed overly well over the years, and the online functionality has been awful - compared to my husband's Aviva online pension dashboard, which is very swish to look at.

    I have been wondering whether to transfer my Friends Life policy to Aviva.
    Am i correct in my thinking to stay put for now, as:
    a) When Aviva-Friends Life merger is complete in Oct 2017, Aviva will end up re-naming all my Friends Life funds + altering the fund charges anyway? And if i'm worse off re: charges, make a move at that time?

    b) Vanguard is due to launch it's SIPP in late 2018 - so hoping Vanguard's fees will be lower than i'm currently paying... so perhaps stop paying any further into Friends Life, and open a new SIPP with Vanguard when it launches?

    c) By the grace of God, Aviva's nice pension dashboard will somehow be translated across to my Friends Life account?
    Does anyone know if this is likely to happen, or is it just wishful hoping on my end?

    Any feedback would be much appreciated on these questions!


    Much to my pleasant surprise, the AMC on my policy, for amounts invested over £100k seems to have dropped from 0.55% (which has been the AMC for the past 10 yrs), to 0.45% very recently.

    The Friends Life call-centre said they assume it was due to the Aviva merger, but they had no other explanation for this surprise drop in AMC.
    Does anyone know if this is true? I'm hoping it's not just a typo on a letter i had from them !

    The "My plans" section of Friends Life website was closed down a few days ago - so you can no longer login online, to get the latest valuation .

    Friends Life call-centre staff didn't know when Aviva would make that info available on Aviva's own website, nor when Friends Life customers would be able to login on Aviva's own website to see their financial details online.
    Does anyone know the answer to this - i feel very uneasy about not being able to view my policy online?

    Many thanks in advance for reading my post, and would be very grateful for anyone's insights into my questions.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 28th Aug 17, 9:36 PM
    • 89,603 Posts
    • 56,093 Thanks
    dunstonh
    It's not performed overly well over the years, and the online functionality has been awful - compared to my husband's Aviva online pension dashboard, which is very swish to look at.
    AXA spent all their money on their platform. That had very good funcationality until they sold it last year to Standard Life. So, you had an AXA product that was getting no love which was bought by Friends Provident who didnt give it any love as it was then a heritage/legacy product and now its Aviva who wont give it any love for much the same reason. That doesnt mean the product isnt working. AXA had a decent fund range on their PPP at the time. I used it several times and the all the usual external funds you would expect to be there were there.

    a) When Aviva-Friends Life merger is complete in Oct 2017, Aviva will end up re-naming all my Friends Life funds + altering the fund charges anyway? And if i'm worse off re: charges, make a move at that time?
    The terms of your pension wont be changed. The name will, at some point, be rebranded and the fund prefix changed to Aviva. Charges were unlikely to change on most of the funds but there may be some consolidation. Those tend to happen later rather than sooner.

    b) Vanguard is due to launch it's SIPP in late 2018 - so hoping Vanguard's fees will be lower than i'm currently paying... so perhaps stop paying any further into Friends Life, and open a new SIPP with Vanguard when it launches?
    That would limit you to vanguard which is not ideal. And dont assume that it will be as low cost as the ISA. Pensions cost more in administration and have higher solvency requirement (although the SIPPs have lower FSCS protection than personal pensions. So, there is a bit of saving there).

    c) By the grace of God, Aviva's nice pension dashboard will somehow be translated across to my Friends Life account?
    Probably about 20 years after you retire. Really do not bank on that. Remember that AXA's old system is standalone to Aviva's. It may have been Friends for a long time but the online side of AXA's pensions is still visually the same as it was a decade ago apart from the logo.

    Much to my pleasant surprise, the AMC on my policy, for amounts invested over £100k seems to have dropped from 0.55% (which has been the AMC for the past 10 yrs), to 0.45% very recently.
    Some of the AXA PPPs had fund based discounts. So, you may have moved into the next tier. A reduction on the contract is possible but that is a contract change and any change like that would be required to inform you in writing.

    The "My plans" section of Friends Life website was closed down a few days ago - so you can no longer login online, to get the latest valuation .
    The IFA version is still working (just checked). No mention of that moving so far (when yours moves, the IFA version will move as well as the systems would be linked.

    Bottom line is that on most of these things, only Aviva will know what their plans are. They will almost certainly go through multiple changes in objectives and timescales as well. We can only guess based on what has happened on past purchases.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Little Miss Moneysaver
    • By Little Miss Moneysaver 31st Aug 17, 6:45 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Little Miss Moneysaver
    Thank you dunstonh for your help!
    You really are the fountain of knowledge!!

    Thank you for posting on MSE with all your various posts - as the rest of us laypeople, do learn a lot from your insightful comments!

    I will update here when the general public login for Friends Life/Aviva is re-instated.
    I am hoping Aviva doesn't drag their heels for years, before allowing online access to old Friends Life policies.... I'm really hoping it will be soon after Oct 2017, when the merger is complete.

    Good to know the IFA version, is still accessible by IFA's online.
    I may just contact the IFA who set it up 10 years ago, and ask for a review on that pension - to see if it's worth moving it elsewhere, for more competitive charges?
    Or contact a local IFA to review my pension (as the other one is a few hundred miles away)?

    Any advice on which IFA (the original one who set it up, or a new local one) to contact?
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