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  1. #1

    Transferring a pension balance into a SIPP

    I'm currently in the process of transferring a small pension balance over into my SIPP. As usual this is very tortuous process which is taking far too long. A scandal that the FCA really should be looking at. Anyhow the latest excuse my current pension plan managers Towers Watson have for delaying the transfer is they apparently need clearance from HMRC that my SIPP providers have a UK Registered Pension Scheme.
    Although my current SIPP providers Bestinvest are well established, have dealt with the pension managers previously, have forwarded the scheme registration details, Towers Watson insist they must write to HMRC to get clearance on the scheme.
    and you wonder why pension transfers take so long.
    Has anyone else come across this sort of excuse before ?

  2. #2
    Hi A, yes I've done this twice ( pension admin) I wouldn't worry. They are all rubbish, but eventually it will be sorted and yes it should be easier and quicker.

  3. #3
    This sounds like they are fobbing you off to be honest. Every pension/SIPP provider has a unique HMRC reference. Normally there is a form where you have to detail this reference which confers the Bestinvest SIPP as a Registered Pension Scheme. It's not as if you are transferring to an unapproved scheme or an overseas pension such as a QROP.

    Don't talk to me about Bestinvest mind, I bought an ETF for approximately 1,500 on Tuesday and somehow it has managed to lose 99% of it's value. Clearly a transactional error but as Bestinvest use a third party to run their platform, three phone calls and the threat of a complaint still hasn't resolved the issue. They don't seem to understand the principle of managing client expectations.

    I can speak in authority as someone who used to administer and advise on company pension schemes.

  4. #4
    I have transferred an EL private pension, an EL FSAVC and a DB scheme all to HL and transfers were made within 10 days or fewer and no mention of the item you queried. So it does seem to be delaying things.

  5. #5
    I have to say that in my opinion what Towers Watson haven chosen to do is deliberately misinterpret HMRC guidelines to suit their own ends. Bestinvest have already provided them with the relevant HMRC number. However I'm simply caught pig in the middle. Towers Watson are clearly dragging out the whole process quite unnecessarily. The only option for me is to formally report them to the Pensions Ombudsman and not all hopeful they'd do anything. After a previous bruising encounter with the Ombudsmans Office as far as I could see they'd completely misinterpreted their role as being to provide an extra layer of protection to pension providers instead of applying a heft kick up the rear end.
    THe interests of the consumer invariably get completely ignored.


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