Aegon UK pays divi to parent as assets hit £110bn

Aegon UK CEO Adrian Grace

Edinburgh-based pensions, investment and insurance firm Aegon UK said on Thursday its platform assets reached a record high of £110 billion in the third quarter and that it will pay a dividend of £150 million to its Dutch parent firm.

“This increase was driven by net inflows of £1.4 billion, upgrade of customer assets to the platform of £1.1 billion and favorable equity markets,” said Aegon UK.

“Since the start of the program, over £9 billion of customer assets have been upgraded to the platform, of which £3 billion this year.”

Aegon UK CEO Adrian Grace said: “Last year’s acquisitions of Cofunds and BlackRock’s DC business along with the sale of our annuity book have transformed the scale and make-up of our business.

“Reflecting our strong momentum, we delivered earnings of £25 million in Q3, up significantly on the same time last year, and we are in the process of paying a dividend of £150 million to Aegon Group which is representative of our strong financial position.”

Grace also warned the UK government to avoid tinkering with pension tax relief.

“As we approach the Budget, we have a dangerous combination of a government looking to retake the political agenda, a budget deficit that is proving difficult to eradicate and the legislative challenge of Brexit,” said Grace.

“The Chancellor may well consider pension tax relief as easy pickings as a both a cost saving and an opportunity to score political points.

“Recent talk of offering younger generations a cut in NI in exchange for reform of tax relief would however prove highly disruptive and should not be undertaken without significant thought.

“Now is not the time for radical change and the government should wait until Brexit negotiations are complete and there is time for proper debate.”