Advisers hit out at Aegon Sipp property transfers delay


Advisers have been left frustrated by delays in Sipp property transfers as a result of Aegon’s year long administration switch from Capita to James Hay.

The insurer used Capita as a third-party investment and property administrator until July 2015 when the firm withdrew from the Sipp market.

Aegon also exited the market, though still offers Sipps on its platform, and entered a partnership with Sipp firm James Hay in a deal that waived normal fees for Aegon Sipp customers.

Customers and advisers could also choose to use another provider.

Most Sipp assets have now been transferred but commercial property has been “more challenging”, the firm admits.

A spokesman says: “Since beginning to move Capita Sipp customers to James Hay, or the client’s preferred alternative provider, at the end of last year we have re-registered 97 per cent of the Sipp assets.

“Due to the nature of commercial property and specific paperwork involved, this process can be more time consuming and we are looking to finalise the re-registration process as a priority.

“Until all of a customer’s assets have been re-registered they remain an Aegon customer and should continue to speak with us about the status of their Sipp.”

Wingate Financial Planning financial planning director Alistair Cunningham says: “That a number of individuals, no matter how small Aegon allege that number to be, have been affected in this way suggests that full forethought was not given to the process.

“Naturally, James Hay will be cautious about the risk they are taking with property assets, but this should not be allowed to prejudice the interests of those who originally selected Aegon.

“This transaction was instigated by Aegon, with little alternative option to members. Aegon should do everything they can to safeguard pensioners’ interests.”