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Trying to contact Prudential by Phone today re AVC options

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by shipscat, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    I have been looking at options on how to use my Teacher AVC when I reach pension age this autumn. I had emailed the Pru with a query and they responded yesterday with an email suggesting I contact their "drawdown team" and gave me a phone number.

    I have tried this number umpteen times today and get a recorded message "welcome to Prudential, we are currently experiencing a temporary interruption of service - please call again later".

    I have also tried other Prudential numbers and also keep getting the same message!

    Can't see anything on their web sites about communications problems - also checked some business news stories on BBC nothing there - but today they just appear completely unreachable by phone!
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If the same message is on every phone number for the Pru then it's likely true! Their telecoms has failed and they haven't been able to fix it yet. I wouldn't expect to see it appear in the business news media, not even the BBC - the Pru isn't that important and their phones failing at an office for the day really doesn't count as a major news story!

    Try again next week - it doesn't sound like you have an urgent need to speak to them if it's about your options in the autumn.
  3. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I phoned them a couple of weeks ago. They answered straight away and were helpful.
  4. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    I always thought the Pru were a big player in the pensions and savings market and thew news sites don't seem slow in reporting communications difficulties with major companies in the banking, saving and investment fields.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    A generation ago Pru were the top player, +/-, but no longer. Most of their business is in Asia nowadays. They might just scrape into the top 10, probably not even that (although any ranking is always open to the 'it depends what you measure' argument). I'll take your word for it that a failure of telephone system in the sector is usually reported in the media, I've never seen it myself. Computer system collapses yes, but that's a very different matter.
  6. zebedoink

    zebedoink New commenter

    I called them a few weeks ago to enquire about the options for my AVCs as I am approaching the "designated" retirement age, although I retired nearly 5 years ago.

    They arranged to send out an FA for a chat, who when I explained what I wanted to do with the AVC money (take it out in chunks, to tide me over until state pension), said that would be perfectly possible; either by moving it into a new drawdown account (fees apply), or by leaving it where it was and just asking for chunks periodically as desired, no fees.

    More to the point, he also advised using bank savings rather than drawing down the AVC money as it would be earning much more than anything sitting in the bank, which I, naively, hadn't considered.
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I would agree with this.
  8. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    It is worth considering what other income you have as well...if the AVC is your only official income then you can get about £16,000 a year effectively tax-free as you get the tax-free 25% and then use your personal allowance of £12,000 for the rest, if you leave it until you get your pension it will probably be mostly taxed (not the first 25%). So whilst it *may* get a better rate it might need to be significantly better to overtake the tax advantage of getting it out whilst you have no other income.
  9. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    All great points and very enlightening. I left my money in the AVC pot and have been taking out chunks every year. The remaining fund has been growing very nicely since the Pru is now domiciled in Hong Kong. @zebedoink thanks for the tip. I shall leave my money in the AVC pot for the next few years and resist the temptation to draw out chunks of it.
  10. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    All good points and my AVC pot did well but just be aware that, although the funds have increased recently better than savings accounts, performance isn’t guaranteed. My funds had a few years where they didn’t increase or some even decreased. For me, the certainty of savings accounts still has an attraction.
    eljefeb90 likes this.

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