Improvements and enhancements to the Aegon Platform

Improvements and enhancements to the Aegon Platform

Monday, 15 April 2019

Since the start of the year we’ve been working on delivering improvements and enhancements to the Aegon Platform. We’re pleased to confirm the following changes have been made to the intermediary dashboard.

We’ve removed funds with zero balances

This means you’ll no longer see funds with zero balances in your clients' product valuations or in the portfolio scan report generated from your clients' product summary or Report Zone. 

We’ve also removed funds with zero balances from the fund holdings' list during a top up, so that you only see funds your clients' are invested in and you no longer have to remove these from the fund selection. 

You’ll still see funds with zero balances if they’re in a client’s default investment strategy or model portfolio.

Online time out has increased from one hour to five hours and you don't need to sign in twice

You won't be logged out after an hour anymore. An active session will stay open for up to five hours of continuous activity. Please note, if your session remains idle for more than twenty minutes you’ll still be signed out. 

We've also fixed an issue where you had to enter sign in details twice, when you were signed out due to inactivity or signed out but then signed back in.

Quickly access training and resources from the intermediary dashboard

You can now access the training and resources section of our website directly from the intermediary dashboard.

In this section you’ll find a wealth of tools to help support you in using the Aegon Platform including ‘How do I?’ guides, useful videos and our full training guides.

Restructured homepage and better resources to help you use the Aegon Platform

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Following your feedback we've refreshed our homepage on the Aegon Platform public website, to make it easier to find the information and services you're looking for. We've also launched a new training and resources section containing a wealth of tools and support to help you get the most out of the Aegon Platform.

In our new training and resources section, on top of all our training material, you'll find additional support with our latest updates, tax year opportunities zone and our new processes page, summarising what's online and offline on the Aegon Platform.

Suffolk life now operates as Curtis Banks

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Following Curtis Banks Group's acquisition of Suffolk Life in 2016, they've recently announced Suffolk Life will now operate under the Curtis Banks name and brand.

As Suffolk Life are the pension provider for the Cofunds Pension Account, you'll start to see us replace the references to Suffolk Life on some of our literature and webpages throughout 2019.

Generating tax year end business

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

We've added useful tools and guides to the website to help you with tax year end. From a tax year end planning guide to important cut-off times for submitting business, we've pulled together the key content you need in one place to aid your tax year end planning.

Transaction history – support documents

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

We're working on improvements to the transaction history on the Aegon Platform, but until we're able to implement these you may find the following useful:

  • Our new How do I... step-by-step guide on how to view and download a client's transaction history, with handy hints and questions and answers.

  • Definitions of common transactions - use this table to identify the transactions you see on your dashboard and your clients see on theirs.

  • Aegon Platform - Transaction history - our training guide shows you how to access and filter the Aegon Platform and Cofunds historic transactions that have taken place on your client's account.

New and improved document library

Monday, 28 January 2019

We've now launched our improved document library, making it easier for you to find the paper applications and guides you may need when supporting your clients. It's obviously quicker for you to get the latest version from our website rather than calling us so we hope you find the changes useful.

We've categorised the forms and support literature so you can filter by product and transaction, or the action you're taking such as charging or general administration. 

In just a few steps you can narrow down your search to easily find what you need. Or, you can type the document name in the search bar - just as you would before.

Annual costs and charges disclosure

Monday, 28 January 2019

To make sure your clients know exactly how much they've been charged we're adding a costs and charges disclosure to their quarterly statement.

Update on Aegon Platform service levels

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

With 2018 drawing to a close, and with the majority of our high volume operational processes now within target times, we'd like to thank you for your perseverance with us over what has been a challenging year.

We hope you're noticing that our general servicing levels have improved but we're still working hard to fully restore the quality of the overall service across enquiries, complaints and client remediation, to make sure it gets back to the levels you expect.

We’ve also resolved many defects since the summer and have introduced online services for all the major client processes on the website. We've summarised the changes in our IT enhancements. There's still work to do and you have our commitment that there will be further updates in the New Year.

Aegon Platform statements - Legal & General products

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

From the end of the year we'll send an Aegon Platform statement to clients who have a Legal & General product with us. This statement is separate to our regular quarterly statements and will show the value of their product and details of the transactions from 8 May 2018 to 30 November 2018.

We'll upload a copy of your clients' statements to the client summary screen on your dashboard.

Where a client is a joint holder, you can download the statement from the joint client summary screen. If a client is a joint holder of an account and also has an account in their own name, we'll upload the statement to the client summary screen of their sole account.

The customer number shown on the cover letter of their statement is always for the primary account holder of the account.

Intermediary charges calendar

Friday, 2 November 2018

When our service to you changed so did the way we pay intermediary charges. To show when you can expect to receive your main payment for ongoing adviser charges, we’ve created a calendar that tells you the dates each month for the rest of 2018 and 2019.

Update on Aegon Platform service levels

Friday, 2 November 2018

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve made progress in recovering our operational service. The majority of our high volume processes are now within target times and we've made progress in clearing the backlogs - we hope you'll have noticed an improvement.

But we know we still have work to do and are focusing our attention on a number of priority areas:

  • We're making progress with re-registration transfer out requests.
  • We're continuing to work through the general enquiries backlog with over three-quarters now cleared.
  • The additional resource in our complaints team is helping us complete more cases in as short a timescale as possible.

We're remediating any of your clients who were financially disadvantaged by our operational delays. This work will continue to the end of the year.

Clients affected by our service delays

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

As we continue to focus on restoring service we’ve made good progress in ensuring any clients who were financially disadvantaged by our delays are compensated. We’re currently assessing instructions received up until 13 July 2018, and if any of your clients are being considered, we’ll write to you monthly with details, starting next week.

We’ll determine if they’re better or worse off by using the approach detailed in our remediation guide

We’ll only write to you if you have clients impacted up until 13 July 2018, but we’ll shortly be assessing instructions submitted after this date and will confirm any additional clients covered soon. 

Aegon Platform statements

Monday, 22 October 2018

The way we send statements to your customers is changing.

Before the upgrade we sent statements over a two week period in large batches - historically these were dated 30 November and 31 May.

Statements for customers of the Aegon Platform will work slightly differently. We’ll generate them quarterly, but spread over a three month cycle and sent depending on the customer’s account anniversary date – so we’ll send the documents throughout the quarter. After all customers have received one at the end of each three month cycle, the cycle starts again.

As an example, a customer with an account set-up date of 5 January can expect to receive statements dated to 4 April, 4 July, 4 October and 4 January.

Smoothing out the distribution will remove the short-term spike in enquiries that you receive from your customers, and also enable us to offer a more consistent service through our contact centre.

Who’s getting what, when?

 

As the last statement was dated 7 May 2018, immediately before the upgrade, the move to a rolling three month cycle means the first statement will be for longer than three months for most customers. Here's how the first cycle will work:

  • The first customers to receive a statement have account anniversary dates of 9 August, 9 November, 9 February and 9 May and their reporting period will be from 8 May 2018 to 8 August 2018. We started to send them from early October 2018.
  • We’ll then send statements daily, so the next batch will be customers with anniversaries of 10 August, 10 November, 10 February and 10 May, showing a reporting period of 8 May 2018 to 9 August 2018, and so on.
  • We’ll send the final batch in this quarterly cycle to customers with anniversaries of 8 November, 8 February, 8 May and 8 August, with a reporting period of 8 May 2018 to 7 November 2018 – delivered by the end of November 2018.
  • Because the Cofunds interim statement was delayed, this first cycle (and this cycle only) will run over a six week period rather than the usual three months.
  • The cycle then repeats, starting again with customers with anniversaries of 9 November, 9 February, 9 May and 9 August. The reporting period is 9 August 2018 to 8 November 2018 and we'll start to send them in late November.
  • The second cycle runs for three months, completing by the end of February 2019.

We appreciate this is a complicated change, so we've summarised the dates in a table for you. 

Annual costs and charges disclosure

We’ll include the annual costs and charges disclosure - that we’re required to send to customers under MiFID II - in the quarterly statement of early next year. We’ll share full details with you shortly.

If you need any further information please speak to your usual Aegon contact.

Fixes to the intermediary dashboard and customer dashboard

Monday, 22 October 2018

We’ve recently made more fixes to the website which, along with some performance improvements, should speed up the time it takes for the system to process many of your instructions.

  • You can now access all previous Cofunds documents through your dashboard. Select Cofunds correspondence on the client summary screen to download what you need.
  • Submitting ISA/GIA business – we’ve fixed the issue where you couldn't complete a quote and apply journey to invest into a model portfolio which had a proportion in cash.
  • Investor Model Maintenance – you can now see all intermediaries linked to a paraplanner in the drop down list. Paraplanners can now manage all clients for intermediaries they’re linked to through Investor Model Maintenance.
  • Customers switching from cash – we no longer include money allocated for outstanding charges in the percentage calculations when a customer switches from cash.

Funding investments by direct debit

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

It’s quicker to invest onto the Aegon Platform if your client sends money electronically (bank transfer), as we invest the money the next working day.

If you use a debit card to make a payment, it takes up to three working days before we invest the money. There’s also a maximum limit of £50,000 for each card payment. If you want to make a payment for more than £50,000 you’ll need to select a different payment method.

Apply for a GIA and an ISA online

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

You should now submit new ISA and GIA applications online for:

  • single contributions (regular contributions are currently offline);
  • re-registrations, and
  • transfers to an ISA.

Getting started

New clients – to set up a prospect client select ‘Create new client’ on the intermediary or paraplanner dashboard. You can then follow the steps to apply for an ISA or GIA online.

Existing clients - go to your client’s summary screen and select ‘Create a new quote’. You can then choose either ‘Quote only’ or ‘Quote and apply’, and then select the product and follow the steps.

For new product applications for ISA and GIA you’ll have the option to:

  • re-register from another provider;
  • use an existing model portfolio you’ve set up;
  • manage income distribution options or set up regular withdrawals, and
  • add a designation to name a new GIA.

Download our training guide below to get started and for more information about what can be completed online.


Processes on the Aegon Platform

To find out the latest online processes and where to find relevant forms for offline processes, take a look at our ‘Processes on the Aegon Platform’ document below.


Paper application forms including a regular contribution

We’ll continue to accept GIA and ISA paper application forms that include regular contributions until this journey is available online. You can find the forms in our document library.

Update on Aegon Platform service levels

Friday, 10 August 2018

Over the last couple of months we’ve implemented our plan to improve the level of service we provide to you and your clients. We’ve been working behind the scenes to clear the various backlogs of instructions and return to more acceptable processing times.

During July, we focused on clearing the illustrations, new money instructions and withdrawals that we hadn’t processed. Our call waiting times have improved but are still not where we want them to be, and clearing the backlog of general administration instructions and complaints are our next priorities.
 
We committed to not leaving your clients financially disadvantaged if market movements went against them during our delays. Work has started to assess each client’s position and consider if any redress is required. We’ll continue to keep you updated with progress.

Standing orders and sending payments to us

Friday, 10 August 2018

We want to remind you the way your clients can make payments has changed.
We no longer accept standing orders, but instead we can accept payments:

  • for regular contributions – by direct debit only, and
  • for one-off contributions – by debit card, BACS or cheque.

If any of your clients are still using standing orders, please make sure they’ve now set up a direct debit and have cancelled their standing order directly with their own bank. The bank will shortly start rejecting standing orders as the account is closing, so we appreciate your co-operation.

Please also make sure any cheque or BACS payments that are sent to us include your client’s customer number. This number needs to be either on the back of the cheque or included in the reference field when your client enters the payment on their internet banking.

Reminder - deadline for accepting GIA and ISA paper application forms

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

As switching contributions from a GIA to an ISA is now an online process, we’ll only accept paper applications until 24 August 2018. We’re also removing the paper application forms from our document library on 27 July 2018. 

If you choose to send us a paper application for this transaction, please make sure it’s fully complete, signed and dated before 27 July 2018.

Definitions of common transactions

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Sometimes how we describe transactions on your dashboard is different to what your clients see on their customer dashboards. So we've put together a simple table with descriptions and titles for the common transactions on the Aegon Platform - to make it easier for you when you're helping your clients.

GIA to ISA switch now online

Monday, 2 July 2018

You should now switch contributions from your client’s general investment account (GIA) to an ISA online. The PDF application form is available in our document library, but only until 27 July.

To help manage your new business pipeline we’ll process your GIA to ISA switch paper applications until 24 August. Please make sure they're fully complete, and signed and dated before 27 July.

Update on Aegon Platform service levels

Friday, 15 June 2018

We acknowledge our current service levels aren’t what you expect, and they aren't where we want them to be. So we’ve built a comprehensive and structured programme of recovery activities with actions already underway.

We’ve increased headcount in Operations and we now have separate teams for processing new instructions and clearing the backlog. This means we can apply specific focus to bringing service levels of both to acceptable levels. The teams are supported by enhanced training and more phone lines into the contact centre. 

Our plan is to continue with regular updates to our technology, and we’ve reprioritised our plans based on feedback received from intermediaries. We hope you'll start to experience improvement soon as we focus on our overall performance and service levels.