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Transact cleared as pension transfer complaints upheld against ReAssure

Two complainants said ReAssure and Transact contributed to the delay of their funds being transferred

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Transact has been cleared by The Pensions Ombudsman in two complaints related to the transfer of funds from ReAssure, which acquired the pension and annuity business of HSBC Life.

The complaints have been published separately on The Pensions Ombudsman website but they have similar backgrounds and timelines.

Both complainants, Mr Y and Mrs S, complained that ReAssure and Transact contributed to the delay of their funds being transferred, which they said resulted in a financial loss.

Mr Y had two plans in the HSBC (UK) pension scheme, worth £52,981 and £6,714.

Mrs S had three plans in the scheme, valued at £48,418, £22,700 and £7,162.

In both cases ReAssure disinvested the plans on 30 July 2014.

Transact received the transfer funds on 5 August 2014 but ReAssure had made errors on the payment instructions, which stopped it being able to reconcile the funds on receipt.

It also says it did not receive transfer confirmation letters from ReAssure, which ReAssure said were sent on 5 August 2014.

Transact had to chase ReAssure several times for the outstanding details in both cases, starting from 15 August 2014. It contacted ReAssure again on 19 August 2014.

It received a response on 22 August 2014 but there was a delay until 27 August 2014 when the finds were reconciled to the two complainants’ portfolios.

Transact admitted in both cases it could have pushed ReAssure for more information on 15 August 2014.

Based on a comparison of unit prices on 27 August 2014 and 19 August 2014 Transact said both complainants had suffered a loss.

It compensated Mrs S £795.48 and Mr Y £603.51.

In both cases, ReAssure claimed it had met the 15 working-day timeframe. It claimed all values were paid on 5 August quoting the reference number and that Transact did not stipulate where and how the reference number should be marked.

It also says it posted confirmation letters to Transact and both complainants on 5 August and that it cannot be held responsible for non-delivery.

A TPO adjudicator said there was “further action required” by ReAssure in both cases and that it should pay each complainant £500 compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused.

The adjudicator said in both cases: “The maladministration by ReAssure contributed directly to the delay by Transact in identifying the transfer funds. There is no further financial loss to address but Mr Y [and Mrs S] has experienced significant distress and inconvenience due to the missing funds.”

ReAssure did not accept the adjudicator’s decisions so they were referred to ombudsman Anthony Arter.

Arter upheld both complaints against Reassure and ordered it to pay £500 compensation to both complainants.

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Comments

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  1. David Bashforth 26th July 2017 at 8:04 pm

    And how much did it cost in terms of wasted hours at each provider and also the Ombudsman? Surely where such minuscule amounts are involved there has to be a simpler, streamlined more cost effective resolution process?

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