This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Delays in SIPP and ISA transfers

I commented on the delays in transferring a SIPP from Hargreaves Lansdown to another provider in the May ShareSoc Newsletter, and we published some letters from other members on similar problems in the June Newsletter. I thought readers might like to know that the original SIPP transfer has now finally completed. It actually took over 5 calendar months to get all the portfolio holdings to transfer (this being an “in-specie” transfer as it is called).

This is clearly a quite ridiculous period of time when there were no particular reasons for the delay. Such delays are enormously prejudicial to the interests of investors as your portfolio is effectively frozen for the duration of the transfer. One of the complications that arises is because with SIPPs and ISAs your shares are not held in your own name, but in the operator’s nominee name (as part of a pooled nominee). Fund holdings seem to be even worse than direct shareholdings. So the transfer is complex and in essence paper based. Oh how much simpler it would be if the holdings were in your own name!

My complaint on this matter has now been sent to the Financial Ombudsman who have forwarded it to the Pensions Ombudsman as they apparently deal with pensions.   

Roger Lawson

2 Comments
  1. sharesoc 3rd August 2014 at 11:45 am

    Yes as I have said in one of the previous articles on this topic, it might well be best to move everything into cash and then do the transfer. One does learn from experience! Roger Lawson

  2. Bink286 3rd August 2014 at 11:18 am

    As an IFA with some experience of transferring client Pensions, I can tell you that the in-specie transfers have been taking this long across most providers. The fastest way is instruct a cash transfer, which involves the provider selling all holdings, and this way the transfer can be concluded within a couple of weeks usually. In specie transfers seem to take longer because of re-registration delays combined with providers’ technical IT based ‘red tape’ and other communicative issues, and anyone considering a transfer should take note.

    Bink286

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