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  • FIRST POST
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 9th Mar 18, 3:19 AM
    • 159Posts
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    Joey Soap
    Aviva and transferring a DC pot to a SIPP.
    • #1
    • 9th Mar 18, 3:19 AM
    Aviva and transferring a DC pot to a SIPP. 9th Mar 18 at 3:19 AM
    I have recently come across a problem transferring a DC pot of money from Aviva to a SIPP. On requesting the pot valuation as an alternative to the default annuity the paperwork from Aviva states that to transfer the GBP 130,000 pot away from Aviva then the policy holder must have taken financial advice. There are no GARs or anything else associated with this policy. A similar pot with L&G has no such stipulation from the company. I have taken advice on this and it seems that Aviva insist on this even though legally the policy holder is not bound to take advice before a transfer takes place. Aviva re not budging. They will not release the pot to another provider without the policy holder proving they took advice. This seems very wrong and very unjust. The policy holder has taken quotes from a couple of local IFA firms to give advice and they want 2% of the pot for doing so. A cool GBP 2600 for simply reaffirming what the policy holder has already decided to do any way. I am very unhappy with Aviva but it seems there is little we can do.
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 9th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
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    AnotherJoe
    • #2
    • 9th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    i would start with a compliant in writing using their defined process, and then if not resolved the FCA or whoever is the official body for resolving pension complaints.

    My only thought is that there must be something different about this pension to other DCs since a standard DC transfer requires no such permission, as you say.
    • Linton
    • By Linton 9th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
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    Linton
    • #3
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
    My thought also was that there must be something special about the pension. The fact that you need to ask for a valuation seems unusual, cant you see it online? Have you asked Aviva for their reason for insisting on an IFA?

    You shouldnt need to ask the current provider to transfer a standard DC pension, just get your chosen platform to transfer-in. I would have thought the recipient of a transfer is more at risk from a mis-selling accusation than the current provider.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 9th Mar 18, 8:33 AM
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    brewerdave
    • #4
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:33 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:33 AM
    I second what has been said about your Aviva pension, in that it must have some sort of guarantee associated. I had no problems transferring my ~ £28k pot across to HL last year.
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 9th Mar 18, 8:57 AM
    • 159 Posts
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    Joey Soap
    • #5
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:57 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:57 AM
    We have done all those things including asking about any guarantees etc. That was our very first thought too, and there are none. Aviva have no explanation why the letter says this other than "that's what it says, that's what it means". Which I think is a fairly normal response from such a company. Thanks for the thoughts.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 9th Mar 18, 9:06 AM
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    Brynsam
    • #6
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:06 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:06 AM
    Write to Aviva and make a formal complaint (head your letter 'complaint' to ensure there is no ambiguity), asking them to confirm the exact piece of legislation on which they are relying to impose this requirement on you, which you believe contravenes your statutory right to take a transfer.

    If you still get nowhere (i.e. the answer fobs you off), one for TPAS: https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk
    Last edited by Brynsam; 09-03-2018 at 9:08 AM.
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 9th Mar 18, 9:27 AM
    • 159 Posts
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    Joey Soap
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:27 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:27 AM
    Thanks, I don't think anyone is actually saying it is a legal requirement. Clearly, it isn't. The best advice I have got so far is that it isn't a legal requirement it's more to do with Aviva trying to cover any possible bad outcome for them after the money has been transferred. But as said above it won't be Aviva doing the transferring it will be a SIPP provider. However, Aviva's position seems clear enough so far, they won't release the money to a SIPP provider until they have seen proof that advice has been taken. A formal complaint does seem appropriate at this stage. Same thing with L&G - No problems at all.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 9th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
    • 1,134 Posts
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    Brynsam
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
    Thanks, I don't think anyone is actually saying it is a legal requirement. Clearly, it isn't. The best advice I have got so far is that it isn't a legal requirement it's more to do with Aviva trying to cover any possible bad outcome for them after the money has been transferred. But as said above it won't be Aviva doing the transferring it will be a SIPP provider. However, Aviva's position seems clear enough so far, they won't release the money to a SIPP provider until they have seen proof that advice has been taken. A formal complaint does seem appropriate at this stage. Same thing with L&G - No problems at all.
    Originally posted by Joey Soap
    If you phrase your complaint that way, it highlights that Aviva is trying to do something which prevents you exercising your statutory right (to transfer out of a DC scheme to another DC scheme), when they have no lawful basis on which to do so. Unless they can come up with a bit of law which says protecting their backs takes precedence over a member's legal rights, then they need to push on with the transfer.

    Remember too that if they delay the transfer and the value drops, you may be able to claim against them. I'm not a fan of the compensation culture, but sometimes people have a valid entitlement to claim if their loss arises directly from maladministration (which is what this is).
    • IanSt
    • By IanSt 9th Mar 18, 11:24 AM
    • 260 Posts
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    IanSt
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:24 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 11:24 AM
    I've transferred out a sum greater than yours from Aviva without any issues or advice needed, so I'm assuming there must be something special about your particular scheme.

    Can you find out what the actual pension scheme name is as it might allow us to do a bit more digging on where your problem might be.
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 9th Mar 18, 11:40 AM
    • 2,556 Posts
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    Alexland
    From what you say it seems there is no reason to place this requirement on you but if they feel it is important you receive advice relating to this transfer maybe they would like to pay for this advice. If they are just unnecessarily holding you back from transferring that would be anti competitive. I don't see why you would not raise a complaint.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 9th Mar 18, 12:08 PM
    • 897 Posts
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    ProDave
    I did this recently, transferring from Aviva to HL (because I found Aviva totally unhelpful and disinterested in offering my anything close to what I wanted)

    Okay mine was a much smaller amount. My only "dealing" with Aviva was to confirm the fund value and confirm there were no big fees involved in transferring.

    The transfer was instigated by HL and on the application form I ticked the box to say I had taken financial advice (I had)

    That was all I had to do.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 9th Mar 18, 12:12 PM
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    dunstonh
    Safeguarded benefits are not just GARs. It could be GMP, guaranteed growth rates (common on some Aviva with profit funds), guaranteed minimum fund value, non-standard tax free cash (come across loads of Aviva plans with those) or any other form of guarantee or enhancement. An EPP, Section 32 buy out bond, hybrid plan or a number of their older personal pension plans can all have safeguarded benefits.

    Aviva do not insist on advice on transfers out unless there are safeguarded benefits. Aviva should be able to state what the safeguarded benefit is that is triggering this.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 9th Mar 18, 12:27 PM
    • 25,563 Posts
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    xylophone
    Aviva have no explanation why the letter says this other than "that's what it says, that's what it means".
    And this clearly isn't good enough.

    Therefore you must write to Aviva asking for chapter and verse.....
    • sandsy
    • By sandsy 9th Mar 18, 10:07 PM
    • 1,335 Posts
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    sandsy
    Safeguarded benefits are not just GARs. It could be GMP, guaranteed growth rates (common on some Aviva with profit funds), guaranteed minimum fund value, non-standard tax free cash (come across loads of Aviva plans with those) or any other form of guarantee or enhancement. An EPP, Section 32 buy out bond, hybrid plan or a number of their older personal pension plans can all have safeguarded benefits.

    Aviva do not insist on advice on transfers out unless there are safeguarded benefits. Aviva should be able to state what the safeguarded benefit is that is triggering this.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Guaranteed growth rates, guaranteed fund values, protected tax free cash and protected retirement ages do not count as safeguarded benefits. See:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/495377/pension-benefits-with-a-guarantee-factsheet-jan-2016.pdf

    A safeguarded benefit has to have a promise about the rate of income payable.
    Last edited by sandsy; 10-03-2018 at 11:50 AM.
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 10th Mar 18, 12:37 AM
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    Joey Soap
    Thanks very much for the comments it's very helpful. Clearly there is more mileage in this one and a suitable letter will be drafted and sent this week.

    Thanks again.
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