Alterna RRSP Partial transfer to Questrade - I've called five times and still don't happen | RRSPs and RRIFs | Discussion forum

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Alterna RRSP Partial transfer to Questrade - I've called five times and still don't happen
September 11, 2021
1:13 pm
Rebelyouth
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Hi All,

On Aug 16th, 2021, I started a partial transfer from the Alterna RRSP to the Questrade RSP.

I saw the email from Questrade telling me the transfer started and I will receive another email when the fund will be available. ( and the Questrade's account showing the same info about the transfer)
On Aug 31st,2021, I received another email telling me the transfer started on that day, and I thought "What's going on?", so I contacted them via chat and they told me, no answer was received from Alterna, and the Agent asked me if in my Alterna's account was some indication of a pending transfer, but of course Alterna website is pretty "essential" so no info about it, so I contacted Alterna and the rep told me the request was received but the request was denied because the amount wasn't specified. I told the file had 2 pages and the 2nd with the amount, but the rep said they didn't receive it. I said ok but :

1) Your site doesn't give any info about it
2) You didn't advise me about it
3) You didn't advise the other institution

So the rep said, "Yea we just denied" sf-yell

So I told him another request was made, and I had also the confirmation number to put on file and to see if we can speed up the process. He was really reluctant about that, telling me the process "take times" and I told him great more of 2 weeks you wasted? So he set the info on the ticket and he told me in 48 hrs I will get an answer.

Of course, this never happens and I called another 4 times, the last call was on Friday, Sept 10th, and I could see nobody know anything, no communication between departments, the reps always telling me someone will send an email to me, and the manager will contact me. sf-frown

So I need to see what is my step and my question is:

There is a number/email in the Government, that I can contact to see if they can push on the situation? Or at least use this as a jolly card and tell them, if I will not get a resolution, I will need to contact that number/email?

And, I think it is time to move away from this bank so:
1) move all to Questrade?
2) or see for another bank ( who doesn't have that bad unsecured system like EQ), with a little bit better Customer service.

Any tips?

September 11, 2021
5:09 pm
COIN
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You are at the mercy of the transferor institution. I think they legally have 30 days to complete the transfer. Also, they still cut a physical cheque and send it by Canada Post (yes, I know it is 2021 and we have the Internet).

September 11, 2021
5:11 pm
Loonie
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You probably won't want to hear what I have to say, but the main problem was with Questrade who apparently failed to send both pages to Alterna. So you should be complaining about them rather than Alterna.

It's not clear whether you started the request process all over again with a new form, but that is what you need to do. It will probably take 2 or 3 weeks from then to get the transfer completed.
It's not unusual, when requests are denied, for there to be no notification or explanation offered proactively.

Nothing is going to happen any faster just because you make endless calls to Alterna. By now, though, they might be happy to see you go.

Just make sure the paper work is in order, and cool your jets.

September 11, 2021
8:33 pm
AltaRed
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Welcome to the life of transfers in 'registered accounts'. As Loonie said, if the transferring out institution (in this case Alterna) doesn't get all the right information, it is often standard practice to simply 'deny'. No communication or anything. There is no incentive for them (Alterna) to go the extra kilometer to facilitate the transfer.

I have only ever transferred registered funds from one institution to another a few times in my entire life. I don't foresee doing it ever again in the remaining ~15-20 years of my life. It is not worth the hassle.

September 12, 2021
4:27 am
Loonie
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AltaRed said

I have only ever transferred registered funds from one institution to another a few times in my entire life. I don't foresee doing it ever again in the remaining ~15-20 years of my life. It is not worth the hassle.  

That's exactly what they want you to believe, true or not.
You have become the perfect customer.

I think we'd be better off with a more standardized system, where people knew they could anticipate completing the transfer within a certain time period and that they would receive progress updates. Many FIs are lackadaisical about transfers because they can get away with it.
In my experience, the FIs that charge the most are the ones that take the longest, and the ones that don't charge are the fastest.

September 12, 2021
8:15 am
Rebelyouth
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Coin, Loonie, AltaRed,

Thank you for your answers.

I was thinking too Questreade made a mistake, so when I called Alterna I never said "You guys screw up", but always "Was a glitch" , and I am ok with that, was a mistake. I called Questrade and I made sure they highlight is a 2-page document and they did that, so maybe was their mistake.
I see Alterna's system doesn't give any info out, I read around in the forum some of the FIs showing the progress of an RRSP's transfer but not them... just my luck.
The issue is: I don't know if they are just sloppy or they really don't have any interest to get the money leave the bank, and I will not call them if they provide the info I looking for, but the only answer is "Someone is working on", so no name and no indication of when this person will give an update, or "Somebody will call you /send an email" and also, in this case, I never receive any of them, and I really don't wanna keep calling them and I wait at least after 3 days, so I give them time to check the situation, but the situation isn't moving.
From what I also read they send the process via fax (99%) and send a physical cheque via Canada post (as COIN mentioned) I can see the process is made to be the most time-consuming possible. I hope with the OpenBank system in the next years, things will improve, but I don't hold my breath.
I will wait until the end of next week and see if they fixed this, and see if this will give time to fix this , that will be more than 30 days from the initial request and more than 15 days from the second request.

September 12, 2021
8:31 am
COIN
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Be really careful with these transfers.

Once upon a time I asked my broker to fill out the transfer form (something he's done a thousand time in his career).

Instead of ticking off the "IN-KIND" box, he ticked off the "CASH" box. The result was that the transferor institution liquidated my investments and transferred the cash over.

September 12, 2021
12:17 pm
Norman1
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Rebelyouth said

From what I also read they send the process via fax (99%) and send a physical cheque via Canada post (as COIN mentioned) I can see the process is made to be the most time-consuming possible. I hope with the OpenBank system in the next years, things will improve, but I don't hold my breath.

You'll pass out for nothing if you do! sf-laugh

According to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: Open banking, open banking will allow secure sharing of info, without giving a fintech or financial institution one's online banking password for them to login and screen scrape the info.

If one can't transfer an RRSP out through online banking today, then one still won't be able to with open banking. Probably, with open banking, the receiving financial institution can access the RRSP account number and other RRSP particulars to fill out the transfer form.

September 12, 2021
3:45 pm
AltaRed
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Loonie said

AltaRed said

I have only ever transferred registered funds from one institution to another a few times in my entire life. I don't foresee doing it ever again in the remaining ~15-20 years of my life. It is not worth the hassle.  

That's exactly what they want you to believe, true or not.
You have become the perfect customer.

I think we'd be better off with a more standardized system, where people knew they could anticipate completing the transfer within a certain time period and that they would receive progress updates. Many FIs are lackadaisical about transfers because they can get away with it.
In my experience, the FIs that charge the most are the ones that take the longest, and the ones that don't charge are the fastest.  

As Norman1 suggests, easy transfers should come with Open Banking when it arrives....timeline some time off I reckon.

That all said, I have rarely been motivated to move. I did transfer my RRSP once (in kind) to RBC DI when they were offering a 1% bribe a long time ago and then I moved it again (in kind) circa 2016 when I wanted to consolidate the majority of my accounts at Scotia iTrade. Everyone is close to being the same so there are no sound/material financial reasons for me to be with one FI or another.

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