And just this once, not mine.

When you take out a Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP), most SIPP schemes are unable to accept Protected Rights.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Sippdeal contact me asking for authorisation to make a payment from my SIPP to Equitable Life in respect of a refund of Protected Rights payments that the Government are requesting, in turn, from Equitable Life.

Equitable Life claim this refund is now very urgent because the original request was made in January 2006 and no response has been received.

I ask Sippdeal why they didn’t forward this original letter from Equitable Life to me in January. The answer was simple. Sippdeal did not receive any such letter from Equitable Life in January 2006. Sippdeal are efficient. Sippdeal communicate via email. Sippdeal send me copies of correspondence from Equitable scanned into a PDF. Sippdeal answer my emails promptly. Sippdeal are well informed and helpful.

So I contact Equitable Life directly and ask them why a refund of protected rights contributions is required from a SIPP that was legally unable to receive any protected right contributions.

Inevitably, after a lengthy delay and some ‘research’, it transpires the letter (both of them in fact) were sent to Sippdeal ‘by mistake’ and should have been sent to my other pension provider.

I’m not sure whether my decision to consolidate all my pension plans into a SIPP was the correct one and whether my SIPP funds will outperform the fund managers in grey suits.

However, for the pleasure of not having to deal with Equitable Life any longer (apart from the rare interruption caused by their unbelievable incompetence), I’m prepared to take my chances.