Aegon Illustration Issues

Hi All

This morning, I thought rather than get angry with Aegon, concerning them continually producing illustrations that appear to be incorrect, we try to engage with them to see if we can get a few of us together to help one another  understand the problems we face.

I, like many I would assume, have come to expect that when I see that a client has an existing Aegon pension policy, that the illustration provided will be incorrect.  (This is not always that case, but more often than not.)

Now rather than moan, lets engage with Aegon and try and understand how they generate the illustrations they produce and see if we can influence how they produce them going forward.

I have started a Twitter poll

https://twitter.com/fryer_nathan/status/795929984124776448

This is not to name and shame, but hopefully help Aegon recognise that it is not just a few of us that experience these issues.

By way of an example I was working on a scheme this morning that is currently valued at £239k and using the low growth rate of -2.21% per annum over 5 years, the projected pension at retirement was £240k.  Now it doesnt take a genius to work out that this is not right, unless of course I am completely missing something.

Please could you click on the Twiiter poll and log any experiences below that you may have had, so we can share this with Aegon and hopefully turn our frustration into a positive outcome.

Thanks All

Nathan

Comments

  • richallumrichallum Administrator
    I'm meeting Aegon shortly to talk about continuing their support for the Powwow and I know they will be very interested in this feedback.  This is exactly what Powwow is about - coming together to fix things that don't work as we'd like.  I'll bring this up and will report back here.  If you have any comments or thoughts please add them here for easy reference.  @Nathan has done a good job raising this on Twitter and I can see it's a topic quite a few are interested in.

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.


  • By way of an update, I have heard back from Aegon today saying that they are aware of the inaccuracies within the system.

    The illustrations they appear to be having problems with are the ones with the graduated contributions aligned to Auto-Enrolment.

    I told the person I spoke with that I have been in receipt of this incorrect information for at least 3 months and many of us have experienced other problems and suggested that the issue be escalated.  To which I was told it has been.  For me, this has not been escalated high enough to have taken 3 months or more already.

    I was assured that the annual illustration that the client receives are correct, to which I asked if they understood that adhoc illustrations are used to ascertain the reduction on yield of a scheme in order to provide advice.  I asked if they expected us to base our advice based upon projections that in theory could be 12 months out of date.

    I asked, Aegon are interested in getting these details correct, and wondered if they have considered the implications for the recently purchased Cofunds.  To which I was told, that they understand our concerns.

    I started this, this morning in the hope that we could engage with Aegon to see if we can get a mutual understanding of the issues.  It feels very much to me that they have no interest in correcting the issues that we face and it leads me to question how much of the other information they supply is correct.

    I truly believe that service is one of the only key differentiators in this market and without good service and accurate, timely information they are dead in the water.

    As I say, I was truly hoping to help Aegon, but it feels as though it has fallen on deaf ears, again.

    Please continue to comment on this thread in order that Richard has more than one person’s feedback to pass on to Aegon.

    @Nathan

  • I have asked Aegon before to send me a detailed explanation of how its illustrations comply with the COBS rules.

    I don't think that they do.

    I haven't received a reply.
  • I have carried out some further analysis and I can see that based upon the assumption about wage growth and expected contributions the numbers are broadly correct, but surely it shouldn't be this difficult to do the analysis?

    Also, I would love to know who offers wage growth of 4% per year and whether this accounts for the impact of inflation.

    I have attached my workings, i hope they help someone else?


  • HI Nathan,

    If I understand this thread correctly you accept that you have a correct COBS illustration provided by Aegon. It is merely the wage growth assumption which creates a 'problem'?

    On a mathematical note, you will rarely (if ever) get an excel spreadsheet to match a provider's projections although you will be relatively close. Where you have monthly contributions, in particular, excel can not account for different numbers of days for each month whereas provider system would.

    As I am sure you know, your conversion of annual to monthly growth rates is not mathematically correct. Over short periods of time, this will not matter, but the inbuilt error will increase for longer terms.

    I am sure Aegon can alter the wage growth figure for alternative illustrations to match your / adviser / client views on this?

    Regards

    Richard Gough.
  • Firstly, thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. We really value the input from the paraplanner community and are very keen to work with you to resolve areas such as this. We have been investigating this with our proposition and IT teams and  have identified the source of the problem which relates to a specific user journey when generating review illustrations within a workplace savings wrapper. We are looking at solutions and will provide a further update shortly. In terms of arranging a meeting we would be delighted to host this to get your input into this and other areas that you may want to explore. Who would be the best person to liaise to make this happen? Chris Hubbard (Head of Platform Implementation).
  • @richardgough Hi Richard, Thanks for your comments, the main gripe is that I haven't seen any other projections with a tiered based increase especially one that starts at a point in the future. I appreciate that the increases are in-line with AE requirements, but it makes the use of Select a Pension, and I would assume O&M, impossible to use as a tool to compare the reduction in yield of the new scheme vs the old without the use of a spreadsheet. I am aware that the conversion to monthly to annual growth is mathematically wrong, however given that the contribution levels vary over a period of three years starting and ending on a certain date I saw no other way of doing the analysis. It may be that we do have an easy way of carrying out this kind of analysis and I simply do not know it? it would be great to know how you and others would compare the RIY using this type of projection? @chub Thanks Chris, I will revert to you once I have spoken with a few people.
  • Hi Nathan,
    I thought you would know re monthly annual returns etc; I mention it because when I was assessing for IFP the number of candidates who continually got that wrong was staggering.
    As regards the RiY then unless there are fund sized loyalty bonuses or additional fixed charges / allocation rates if you use SelectAPension to assess the RiY of the Aegon contract on its own then that gives you a good place to start. You can compare this RiY with that of alternatives.
    Another approach - surely Aegon will produce a projection based on a future contribution basis of your choosing - say a regular amount increasing at x% per annum or a level ongoing contribution which you can then compare with other providers?
  • Today's Aegon gripe...

    I have received details of an existing pension which includes a page headed 'charges summary'. This gives the charges for the last year in pounds and pence - clear for the client, but next to useless for a paraplanner or IFA.

    It also tells me there's a Fund Charge Rebate Yearly Amount of £248.52. As the client is making monthly payments into the plan, I can't unravel these figures. So now I need to call Aegon, and you need to pay someone to spend their time talking to me...

    @chubb Why is the information provided in this way please? Granted this is not platform business, but it is what shapes my view of Aegon as a company.

  • Update:

    On calling Aegon, they tell me there is no fund charge rebate. I pointed them to the page of their own letter that says there is. Changing their mind, they tell me yes there is one, but calculating the percentage figure will 'need to be created as back office query' and will take x working days. It's painful. To save my own soul from the depths of despair from which it may never return, I'm going to work on something different now.

  • AEGON call centre staff are unbelievably badly trained/understaffed. If the platform wasnt so cheap, I dont know why anyone would use it???
  • hi there the earlier query seemed to relate to non platform- correct? Whilst it is not my remit as such I will ask the question of the right team. Leave this with me. The follow up comment by ralfos seems to relate to platform - is this the same query or a different problem. Apologies - just need some clarity here? thanks chris hubbard 
  • Mosher said:

    Update:

    On calling Aegon, they tell me there is no fund charge rebate. I pointed them to the page of their own letter that says there is. Changing their mind, they tell me yes there is one, but calculating the percentage figure will 'need to be created as back office query' and will take x working days. It's painful. To save my own soul from the depths of despair from which it may never return, I'm going to work on something different now.


    Having the same problems with Aegon & have an ongoing complaint raised,  they're completely brushing off the fact the charges info is next to useless for advisers/paraplanners & claim that this is sufficient for the majority of cases which I highly doubt! 


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