Intelligent Pensions technical director David Trenner has hit out at Friends Provident after it refused to allow a partial transfer of £68,000 of non-protected rights into a Sipp.
The dispute centres on Friends’ policy on the partial transfer of pension funds which have protected and non-protected rights elements into a Sipp.
Friends says the product does not allow partial transfers out but Trenner says this was not communicated when he wrote to the firm requesting information. He says the client will be forced to incur higher charges if he transfers the entire fund.
Trenner describes Friends’ decision as “bizarre”. He says: “By law, you cannot put protected rights in the same Sipp as non-protected rights, so it has to be ringfenced. But Friends Provident is saying it is not going to let clients do that.”
Friends says it had “managed the client’s expectations” that a partial transfer was not available and does not feel that the client is being treated unfairly.
A spokeswoman says: “We are not preventing the member from processing a full fund transfer or retaining the benefits in their existing plan. Therefore, we do not believe this in any way contravenes treating customers fairly outcomes.”