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How to speed up a slow SIPP transfer?

Retirement | SIPP Helpful? 7

Asked by kevinco, submitted 22 August 2014.

Open Quote Delays and mistakes transferring SIPP. I transferred my SIPP from HL to III, starting the process at the end of April, while an III offer was on. 4 months later and the process still hasn't completed - I have 4 stocks gone over to III, 4 still appearing in HL and the other 2 in limbo-land.

Each of the providers blames the other or fund managers for the delay and cannot give a timeline when it is complete.

In addition, some of the funds that I converted to clean at HL have appeared at III in the original non-clean class.

My question is - can this really be regarded as normal or is it unacceptable and what redress can I get?
End Quote

Answered by Justin on 28 October 2014

Investment transfers, especially pension transfers, often move at snail’s pace with many providers seemingly living in bygone paper based era. Electronic transfer systems are starting to be introduced, but not fast enough in my opinion.

That said, your transfer is taking far longer than is either usual or acceptable.

It sounds as though your pension investments are being transferred in-specie, i.e. ‘as is’. This means that the underlying fund managers have to confirm they have updated their register to show the fund as being owned by the new platform (i.e. II) rather than the old one (HL). From experience this can a few extra weeks to the transfer process, but has the advantage that your money is still invested so you don’t risk losing our from market movements during the transfer.

The time has certainly come to complain, and complain strongly. I would start by asking to speak to a manager at both II and HL and request a full explanation of why the delay and what they are doing to solve it. If they do not provide this within a week then escalate your complain to the CEO of each company. This does often seem to speed things along.

If you think you have lost out financially from the delay (for example, where investments have been sold to cash but not transferred, with those investments since rising in price) then claim for this too, adding the threat of taking your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman of not satisfactorily resolved.

And even if you have not lost out, ask both II and HL for goodwill gestures to compensate for the inconvenience you’ve experienced as a result of their ineptitude.

Good luck getting this resolved and thanks for highlighting the problem.


Please note this answer does not constitute a recommendation or financial advice and should not be relied upon when making specific investment or other financial decisions. You should always undertake your own research into whether a product or service is appropriate for your needs and, if necessary, use a qualified professional adviser.

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Readers' Comments (1) - To post a comment please register or login .


Comment by pb1112 at 3:59pm on 02 Nov 2014:

It's really quite disgusting that these delays are occurring with seemingly no pressure being applied by the government or other oversight authorities. I also have experienced a similar delay. Both organisations are telling me different things and each time the help desk say they will request an update - which takes another week. Unfortunately I doubt if complaining will make much of a difference in this case because each party will simply blame the other. Meanwhile, private investors are losing millions because they're investments are stuck in expensive accounts. Maybe Candidmoney can help the campaign to speed these processes up!