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  • FIRST POST
    • pensionpawn
    • By pensionpawn 12th Apr 19, 11:19 PM
    • 209Posts
    • 167Thanks
    pensionpawn
    Equitable Life with profits pension / takeover.
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 19, 11:19 PM
    Equitable Life with profits pension / takeover. 12th Apr 19 at 11:19 PM
    I thought I would open a thread for everyone who have a pension with them who may wish to share their experience and offer advice while we wait for the resolution of the take over.

    I was within days of commencing a transfer to a Sipp last summer when the news broke and have stayed put watching my fund continue to grow at 3.5% whilst this all sorts itself out.

    I have seen no news since around last October. Does anyone else have anything to add?

    Equitable Life
    Last edited by pensionpawn; 12-04-2019 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Inclusion of link to Equitable Life.
Page 17
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 12th Jan 20, 12:50 AM
    • 227 Posts
    • 92 Thanks
    Joey Soap
    Thanks all. The AVC I have is with profits at EL. Unfortunately, it is a group AVC administered by Mercers. I am not joking when I say that nobody I have spoken to there seems to even know anything is happening with EL. This amazes me since Mercers are a major pension scheme administrator and I simply cannot be the only person asking questions. I can confirm that I have had no communication from anywhere about this Utmost transfer. I am going to give it a few more weeks and then make an official complaint to Mercers for gross incompetence.


    Cheers


    JS.
    • Scot_39
    • By Scot_39 12th Jan 20, 10:07 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Scot_39
    pensionpawn figures
    My statement says 'investments in Equitable with profits' is x (split protected and non-protected rights) and my transfer value is 90.8% of x. It also says that 'value of guaranteed benefits' is 96.6% of x. It also states that 'the Equitable with profits transfer value includes an amount (23.5% of x) which represents the share of capital that has been allocated to your benefit and is payable when the benefits is taken. This amount is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up'.

    I consider myself reasonably competent with finances and pensions however Equitable Life statements baffle me. I have no idea what value the uplift will be applied to!
    Originally posted by pensionpawn
    This seems different from my simpler policy statement.
    My wording says what the transfer value means - and how it applies - but doesn't ever quote a reduced number for it - just a simple with profits policy value and a unit linked value.
    Mines does split protected rights and personal contributions - but this is now potentially less important - as I have been told by 2 other private pension companies they now allow you to lift protected rights benefits at 55 etc.
    You can now ignore the guarantee number - it's gone.

    My policy value - your x I guess - simply includes the standard 35% capital distribution - but this is in reality only approx 26% of x ( 74% of x is my base policy value (x/1.35) - 26% of x is capital distribution, calculated from base / as 35% of base (35% of 74% = 26% of x etc)).
    My personal illustration uses a figure very close - within few £100s - to this 74% of x base - and then applies the uplift - in my case primary plus secondary to the base policy value.


    So if my X was 100K, my base was 74K, my old 35% distribution would have been 26K, but the uplifted figure - say if took just a 70% uplift as mid-range primary - would by 1.7*74K base = 126K.

    I can shed no light on why your X is reduced by the 9.2% to get the transfer value - but it strikes me this could simply have been applied across the board to my simpler figures - which is why your distribution is only 23.5% of X - as this is also is approximately 0.908*26.

    Perhaps others here have such an adjustment applied - and can shed more light on it.

    By analagy to my 74% - you could look at your base for uplift being transfer value - distribution - 90.8-23.5 = 67.3% ( which is again 0.908*74) - but not sure if this is fair. As you are strictly not transferring out of the AVC scheme - why shouldn't your full underlying value remain under the control of your group / AVC administrator - i.e. the full X or rather to be more accurate now the scheme is approved - the uplifted 74% of X etc. - even if they then ask for the same 9% if you transfer away.

    If the admins haven't been in touch - I suspect they might even have been or at least might be thinking of making the initial investment choices - but may equally just be in the secure cash for now. Most group schemes I have been in have had restricted choice or at least a default investment option chosen by the scheme. Suspect only time will tell - but seems poor service not to keep you informed at all.

    I suspect you just need to keep nagging them - they may have been avoiding making decisions - until the scheme was approved - and are now going to need to quickly catch up to reality.



    You might be lucky and get the new value from Utmost ( old EL staff ) - but worried they will bounce you back to the AVC / group managers.

    Utmost are meant to be sending value and investment choice statements to new members this month - but I worry this will only be individual members - as could well have to go via Group admins for people in your position.

    None of us actually know yet what the final primary percentage or changes for the recalculated secondary would be - but hoping I will know by the end of this month.

    Given problems both you and Joey Soap etc are having getting any answers out of AVC / group pension administrators not sure how this will be resolved quickly.
    Last edited by Scot_39; 12-01-2020 at 10:32 PM.
    • Carefulspender1
    • By Carefulspender1 14th Jan 20, 6:13 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Carefulspender1
    Transferring from Utmost to Prudential??
    I've got two very small pension pots of around £12k each, one with EL now Utmost and one with the Pru. I'm looking to combine the two policies and wondered if many people on the forum are looking to transfer to the Prudential? I'm just looking for the safe option as I will probably draw down lump sums when I retire at 66.

    Because the amounts are so small I didn't think it would be worth consulting an IFA due to charges - when I mentioned this on a Pension Wise appointment the adviser agreed.

    BTW It looks like the uplift amounts are available now as I called Utmost today to find out a transfer value and was given my new transfer value with the uplift and told that a letter would go out to all former EL policy holders at the end of January with uplift values in writing. The uplift quoted worked out at a 78% which was more than I expected
    • pensionpawn
    • By pensionpawn 14th Jan 20, 8:30 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    pensionpawn
    I've got two very small pension pots of around £12k each, one with EL now Utmost and one with the Pru. I'm looking to combine the two policies and wondered if many people on the forum are looking to transfer to the Prudential? I'm just looking for the safe option as I will probably draw down lump sums when I retire at 66.

    Because the amounts are so small I didn't think it would be worth consulting an IFA due to charges - when I mentioned this on a Pension Wise appointment the adviser agreed.

    BTW It looks like the uplift amounts are available now as I called Utmost today to find out a transfer value and was given my new transfer value with the uplift and told that a letter would go out to all former EL policy holders at the end of January with uplift values in writing. The uplift quoted worked out at a 78% which was more than I expected
    Originally posted by Carefulspender1
    Yes, I also coincidentally called my group administrators today and the data only came through this morning. For me the uplift worked out to be 27.6% of my policy value (taking the capital distribution from the already included 26.5% to around 66%). Just slightly better that bailing from EL 18 months ago for a SIPP.
    • Scot_39
    • By Scot_39 14th Jan 20, 9:26 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Scot_39
    Yes, I also coincidentally called my group administrators today and the data only came through this morning. For me the uplift worked out to be 27.6% of my policy value (taking the capital distribution from the already included 26.5% to around 66%). Just slightly better that bailing from EL 18 months ago for a SIPP.
    Originally posted by pensionpawn

    Glad to hear you got the info so quickly.
    • pensionpawn
    • By pensionpawn 14th Jan 20, 11:34 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    pensionpawn
    Now to decide where to move it to...
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 15th Jan 20, 9:27 AM
    • 227 Posts
    • 92 Thanks
    Joey Soap
    It may be that behind the scenes, wheels are gradually grinding into motion. This morning I had an email from Mercers telling me that the group scheme trustees were sending out a letter later this week. So, those of us with EL/Utmost AVCs in the scheme should have at least "some" information within a few days. About time too. The total silence has been appalling. I am happy that I only have a tiny pot of money with these people.
    • pafpcg
    • By pafpcg 15th Jan 20, 11:40 AM
    • 477 Posts
    • 428 Thanks
    pafpcg
    Revised transfer value - the new uplift!
    My partner is in the process of using her Equitable WithProfits fund to buy an annuity. She's just received a letter giving Utmost's transfer value - it is a factor of 1.058578 higher than the figure for "Potential unit-linked value" quoted in the Equitable's Illustration document last year.

    I don't know what the actual uplift has been - the base level figure (for end-December 2019) to which the uplift percentage is applied may have changed from the figure used in the Illustration. But I thought that using the difference between her Illustration value and the new transfer value might give others a guide: multiply your Illustration value by the factor to give your new value at Utmost.
    • cronshd
    • By cronshd 15th Jan 20, 2:44 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    cronshd
    Just to confirm the recent posts: I called Utmost and quickly got through to an agent who gave me a confirmed policy value. Mine is a simple WP policy, and it was higher than I had been expecting based on illustrations from end of last year.

    I asked about whether I have to wait until the end of the month (to get the formal letter) before transferring out, and was told "no" - that process can start immediately. The first step in the process is to be sent an 'options' letter (valid for 12 months) - although you do not have to act on that letter. I was informed that letter would be sent to me this week.

    (And to confirm, the formal notifications of policy values will be "end of the month").
    • Scot_39
    • By Scot_39 15th Jan 20, 2:45 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Scot_39
    Revised Uplift
    Phoned Utmost to see whether could use pre switch date investment pack fund choice forms - told no. And was confirmed I was now in the secure cash fund for first 6 months then auto age default if I do nothing in the interim.

    Re my post above about funds - was also told that the Utmost website still needs updating and any new cash transfers out of secure cash would go to the JPM managed unit funds. Was also told that any old Aberdeen funds may well be migrated to new JPM mamagement funds at some point - but she didn't have a hard date. Would probably check this again before move any funds though - seemed a bit vague.

    Apparently now can just phone and ask for funds to be moved - and will be done effectively based on next business day if I think she said before 5. To phase investments will have to repeat process. EL used to do this / or accept by email etc. However Utmost website says they would still need to receive a paper transfer form - I guess as confirmation to keep a hard record of signed instructions - but this was not mentioned on phone.

    Re Uplift Values
    Utmost will now tell you your current fund values if you ring the Aylesbury office.
    Operator I spoke to said no idea of actual numbers as of 1st Jan transfer to work out exact percantages - and didn't appear to know the primary value / secondary value split etc - but as of today - my total secure cash fund was approx 9.5 % higher than personal illustration figure.

    A very nice bonus on top of illustration uplift.

    I suspect my figure is higher than pafpcg - as I had a decent secondary - in the teens - at time of illustration - and the IE supplementary report suggested the overall secondary could also be higher. Without knowing the actual primary figure - difficult to know for sure though.

    Letters will be sent "end of month" - exact date ? - to confirm actual uplift values applied to fund values as of 31st Dec / 1st Jan transfer.
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 15th Jan 20, 2:46 PM
    • 13,197 Posts
    • 29,742 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    Just to confirm the recent posts: I called Utmost and quickly got through to an agent who gave me a confirmed policy value. Mine is a simple WP policy, and it was higher than I had been expecting based on illustrations from end of last year.

    I asked about whether I have to wait until the end of the month (to get the formal letter) before transferring out, and was told "no" - that process can start immediately. The first step in the process is to be sent an 'options' letter (valid for 12 months) - although you do not have to act on that letter. I was informed that letter would be sent to me this week.

    (And to confirm, the formal notifications of policy values will be "end of the month").
    Originally posted by cronshd


    Thank you that is very useful.

    I will ring them and do the same.



    I just sent them an email which would appear to be a waste of time as the response was they cannot give deails of the uplift until the end of January and that they will respond to my email within two weeks.

    Looks like ringing is the most favourable option.
    Last edited by POPPYOSCAR; 15-01-2020 at 3:01 PM.
    • Maffo65
    • By Maffo65 15th Jan 20, 3:59 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Maffo65
    my total secure cash fund was approx 9.5 % higher than personal illustration figure.
    Originally posted by Scot_39
    Just called the Aylesbury line: same here.
    • hardshouder
    • By hardshouder 15th Jan 20, 6:52 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    hardshouder
    Can folk please confirm receipt of the next letter sent by EL ?
    Thanks
    • keiran
    • By keiran 16th Jan 20, 5:14 PM
    • 522 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    keiran
    Still no info/news/contact at all from the NHS Trustee for the EqL AVCs....

    But I have obtained the value/uplift value via the Aylesbury line and know exactly what I want to do, which is to transfer to my Aviva pension where I now have charges of 0.25%. There is an online form on the Aviva website to request transfers, and Utmost is listed as a provider from whom Aviva can do transfers.

    Should I just go ahead, or should I wait for any input from the NHS Trustee, just in case they have any wisdom (if they make contact at all)?
    Thanks
    • pensionpawn
    • By pensionpawn 17th Jan 20, 8:20 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    pensionpawn
    Does anyone know the interest rate for Utmost's 'secure cash' holding account for our transferred pensions?
    • Mordko
    • By Mordko 17th Jan 20, 8:40 PM
    • 887 Posts
    • 658 Thanks
    Mordko
    Does anyone know the interest rate for Utmost's 'secure cash' holding account for our transferred pensions?
    Originally posted by pensionpawn
    I donít know, but itís probably Utmost Money Sterling fund. Earned 0.41% in the last 12 month. Youíd be losing money to inflation but slowly
    • Joey Soap
    • By Joey Soap 19th Jan 20, 2:35 AM
    • 227 Posts
    • 92 Thanks
    Joey Soap
    It may be that behind the scenes, wheels are gradually grinding into motion. This morning I had an email from Mercers telling me that the group scheme trustees were sending out a letter later this week. So, those of us with EL/Utmost AVCs in the scheme should have at least "some" information within a few days. About time too. The total silence has been appalling. I am happy that I only have a tiny pot of money with these people.
    Originally posted by Joey Soap
    Well, the promised letter from Mercers arrived in yesterday's mail. In a nutshell, it simply says my pot of money has been transferred to Utmost and resides in the cash fund. That's it. Apparently, another letter will arrive in an unspecified timescale advising me of my "options". Watch this space, I suppose.


    Soap.
    • jsinc
    • By jsinc 19th Jan 20, 11:46 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    jsinc
    Parent's with-profits values are more than the illustration (+6-8% but not sure exactly how much or precise uplift vs 2017). Utmost said a transfer out requires completed Transfer Payment Forms available on their site and a letter from the new pension provider confirming they'll accept the incoming transfers. That seems a little old school, as usually initiated by new provider, but for values greater £30k sometimes can't be done online anyway. This is for individual policyholders, don't know about group pensions.
    • Mordko
    • By Mordko 19th Jan 20, 1:02 PM
    • 887 Posts
    • 658 Thanks
    Mordko
    Parent's with-profits values are more than the illustration (+6-8% but not sure exactly how much or precise uplift vs 2017). Utmost said a transfer out requires completed Transfer Payment Forms available on their site and a letter from the new pension provider confirming they'll accept the incoming transfers. That seems a little old school, as usually initiated by new provider, but for values greater £30k sometimes can't be done online anyway. This is for individual policyholders, don't know about group pensions.
    Originally posted by jsinc
    Find it hard to believe they would be able to reject a transfer if it were to be initiated from the other end (the new pension provider).
    • jsinc
    • By jsinc 19th Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    • 218 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    jsinc
    Find it hard to believe they would be able to reject a transfer if it were to be initiated from the other end (the new pension provider).
    Originally posted by Mordko
    Agree. They're transferring >30k to an Aviva stakeholder and can't do that online, regardless of any safeguarded benefits etc. Initial feedback from Aviva was providing a supporting letter isn't the norm nowadays, but likely still doable. Will be calling specific dept back to confirm their perspective. May be worth others checking the same re. their new provider.
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