Aviva pensions platform falls over, as insurer stops taking support calls

Customers running small businesses were unable to withdraw funds

Customers of Aviva's online pensions platform found they could not withdraw their money after the platform crashed late last week following a recent migration.

When the insurer faced a deluge of support calls from concerned customers, it "took the phones off the hook" rather than answer the calls as it tried to clear its backlog of problems, according to a customer who first informed IT Pro of the issues.

Those issues included withdrawing money, payments to financial advisers, accessing valuations and more.

While an Aviva spokesperson has told IT Pro the platform was fixed on Monday morning, many of these issues remain unresolved, with payments only due to come out on 9 February now, according to Aviva's own reporting dashboard.

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The same source who informed IT Pro about the issue said he was kept in the dark about the problems for more than two days after emailing the company in lieu of call centre support.

The issues began last week after Aviva migrated its Adviser Platform over to fintech services provider FNZ's infrastructure, which also underlies Aviva's Customer Platform.

"As part of this [migration] we invited our advised customers to use a new online service to complement their advisers' access," an Aviva spokesman said.

"There was a technical issue with this access for some customers which resulted in a backlog of customer requests. We took the decision to focus all of our available people, in one of our call centres, on processing the backlog to clear it as soon as possible. Customers could still contact us by email."

But this impacted small business owners like IT Pro's source, who said he needed to make a pensions withdrawal to pay for development work for his online design business.

While he has now been able to access his funds, Aviva's reporting dashboard shows that payments to its Advisers Platform users are still affected, flagging the issue as 'amber', which it defines as "not fully working as expected".

Many other issues were still listed as amber at the time of writing.

"I've resolved my immediate pension issue - but it doesn't resolve the underlying issues with Aviva and their online systems," the customer told IT Pro.

Aviva launched its FNZ-powered platform on 23 January, following five days of downtime as it migrated the system over from another vendor, Bravura, according to Money Marketing.

The launch was immediately impacted by issues including difficulties running quotations, accessing valuations and getting new applications accepted on the platform.

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Speaking to the publication, Facts and Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster said: "These problems have gone beyond the minor teething problems that are part and parcel of any big IT project. Large areas of the system are simply not functional."

IT Pro understands Aviva is being referred to the Pensions Ombudsman over the outage.

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