Aegon, Pru to pay redress over sluggish pension transfer

The Pensions Ombudsman has ordered Aegon and Prudential to split compensation payments to a disgruntled pension saver after the firms squabbled over responsibility for a sluggish pension transfer that cost the individual more than £4,000.

The complainant, known as Mr Botting, claimed he suffered “financial injustice” after he lost money due to delays in transferring his personal pension plan from Prudential to Aegon.

When he received a quotation from Prudential in May 2008, the company quoted a transfer value of £33,136.34. However, the transfer was not completed until November 2009, at which point it was worth only £31,143.36.

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Given the lost interest, the claimant was deemed to have lost out to the tune of £3,964.09.

On 19 November 2009, Mr Botting wrote to Aegon complaining about the delay in processing his transfer request, after his adviser told him Aegon had said the delay was caused by Prudential. He included a copy of Prudential’s response, and called the situation “extremely distressing”.

The ombudsman said: “It was clear to him that there had been a delay in transferring the funds between Prudential and Aegon, each of whom was blaming the other.”

Although pensions ombudsman Tony King eventually decided in favour of Mr Botting, he pointed out that the individual shared responsibility for the delays.

He said: “Mr Botting must also take some responsibility for the management of his own affairs. He had applied to take out the new plan with Aegon and to transfer his existing pension funds into it. However, he appears to have done little to ensure that the transaction was completed.”

Taking this into consideration, Mr King ordered both providers to together pay 70 per cent of the value lost, coming down to a payment of £1,387.43 each.

Meanwhile in a separate case Jane Irvine, deputy pensions ombudsman, found in favour of Alliance Trust Pensions after a complainant said the company caused an “undue delay” in transferring her funds.