Company changed pension provider. Can't get a final statement

colin79ie

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So, in Dec 2017 our company changed from Zurich to Aviva for our prsa. Company pays 5% , employees up to 10.

In the spring of each year Zurich would send out our individual statement booklet with all the info etc. However, they have not issued one for 2017 and say they don't issue 'final' statements. So I don't know exactly what was transferred from Zurich.

I can see what was transferred INTO Aviva but the last statement I have from Zurich is for 2016. I paid into the Zurich one up until Dec 2017 but have no statement of payment other than my payslips.

Our office are of no help.

I just want to ensure there is nothing untoward going on. The broker who sold the Aviva one moved on after the deal....
 

GSheehy

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I'd be confident that the transfer from Zurich to Aviva was above board.

You must have signed something to agree to the transfer of the Zurich value to the Aviva policy; and a new proposal for the regular contribution to Aviva. The transfer would have been done between the two companies and there can't be a charge on the transfer value. I'd have expected that Zurich would have sent a letter to you confirming the value at the time (??).

The broker may have moved on but there would still be an agent assigned to looking after your PRSA. I'd imagine someone is still getting paid to service the Aviva PRSA Scheme that could track down the correspondence.
 
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colin79ie

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I'm sure everything is above board too but without the facts I don't know what, if any charges were incurred in this change.

Zurich didn't send any correspondence. The only correspondence received by me was a form to sign to give my permission for the transfer. No values or anything was seen by me.

The same broker sold both pensions to the company within the space of 5 years. Zurich first, then Aviva.
We were told the fees would be lower.

The transfer would have been done between the two companies and there can't be a charge on the transfer value
So are any fees charged if moving provider?

It just seems a bit strange. Zurich won't give a statement because the account no longer exists. Aviva can't obviously give the statement, although they have just recently sent a statement with the transfer on it.
 

GSheehy

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If it was moved from a Standard PRSA with Zurich Life to a Standard PRSA with Aviva, the broker may have got a % of the total transfer values from Aviva, but it wouldn't have affected your fund value. Pension companies are actively encouraging brokers to transfer pension pots and then they recoup the payment to the broker via the 1% AMC .

If they were both Standrad PRSAs then the AMC was/is 1% on both so if you were told the new one had lower fees it must have been on the contribution charge. Was the contribution charge reduced from (say) 5% to (say) 3% for all 'new' regular contributions to the Aviva PRSA?

Send Zurich Life a letter asking for confirmation of the transfer value in (whatever month) of policy number XXXXXXXXX.
 
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colin79ie

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Just a follow up on my previous post, I have received a letter from Zurich with the 'total transfer out' amount shown.
This differs from the amount transferred into the Aviva pension by just over 2%
The transfer in was made in march 2018 and the transfer out was Nov2017
The letter states that no charges were applied to the transfer out.
 

LDFerguson

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Just a follow up on my previous post, I have received a letter from Zurich with the 'total transfer out' amount shown.
This differs from the amount transferred into the Aviva pension by just over 2%
The transfer in was made in march 2018 and the transfer out was Nov2017
The letter states that no charges were applied to the transfer out.
Are you sure that this was a PRSA? As @GSheehy says above, by law you cannot be charged at either end of the transaction for a transfer from one PRSA to another. If the receiving arrangement was not a PRSA, then it's possible that a charge was applied.

There is also a question to be asked about why it took from November 2017 to March 2018 to transfer the funds and where the funds were in the interim period.

While you say that the original broker moved on, is the firm still in existence?
 

colin79ie

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I'm no expert so please bear with me if I'm getting confused.

The previous pension with Zurich was a group fusion scheme, executive pension plan. ?

My welcome pack from Aviva and statement says at the top ' defined contribution statement of reasonable projection.'

The broker (company) is still operating but the person dealing with our pension has moved on.
My understanding, from speaking to others is that there are lots of questions to be answered.

The date leaving Zurich was 01/11 and the date joining Aviva was also 01/11. All in 2017.

However, when I look at the Aviva online pension manager I can see that my monthly payments were paid in as normal from Nov 17 onwards (to Aviva) but the payment in of the transfer amount from Zurich shows as March 2018, with a roughly 2% difference. (2.11%)

The reason I have been given by Zurich as to why I didn't get a statement for 2017 is that I wasn't a member when the statements were issued, even though I had almost a full year in 2017.
 

LDFerguson

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Okay it's not a PRSA so it's legal for a charge to be applied to your transfer. That's just the strict legal position. Whether or not you should have been told about such a charge before the transfer happened is another matter entirely. Again from a purely legal point of view, commission disclosure regulations don't apply to Occupational Pension Schemes so from what you've posted, nothing illegal has been done here. (Don't shoot the messenger - personally I think that charges and commissions should have been disclosed to you as they've come out of your fund, regardless of whether or not it was an obligation. I'm just letting you know what the rules say.)

There is definitely a few questions to answer as to what happened to your funds between when they were cashed out of Zurich Life in November 2017 and when they were invested in Aviva in March 2018. Why did it take so long and where were the funds in the interim period.

If the broker was the one proposing this transfer and dealing with it, then it's the broker company you should go back to in the first instance.

Strictly speaking, the client in this instance is the company - your employer - and not you. So the broker might not discuss this with you for that reason. Are you a director or senior manager of the company yourself? If so, you can contact the broker on behalf of the company. Otherwise you'll need to talk to someone within the company, e.g. a HR manager or Finance Director and get them to contact the broker with your queries.
 

colin79ie

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315
I have since spoken with our finance dept and they have had such significant issues with the brokers that they have now gone to the ombudsman.
The key question being where the money was for 3 months, the lack of statements or clarity and the belief that not all is what it seems.
So the company are doing their best to get some answers but it appears to be a slow process
 
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