Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1

    Default Standard Life Pension

    My late husband left me two pensions. One with Aviva and another with Standard Life.

    The terms of the Aviva pension was that 3 years after his death it would reduce by 1/3rd so I was getting 202 per month which has now reduced to 137 per month (wow!)

    The Standard Life pension was a much smaller one, only 75 per month (even bigger wow!).

    The Standard Life pension is paid on the 1st of the month. When I checked my bank account I got the shock of my life to find it had been slashed in half to 38 a month. They haven't even bothered writing to me to inform me they were doing this.

    I phoned them to be told by the young man on the end of the phone that they had written to me informing me that this would happen. When I asked him when they'd written as I hadn't received any letter yet, he said "We wrote to you on the 6th June 2011"

    That was almost 3 1/2 years ago and the week after my husband died. Sorry, but when you've just lost your spouse, as anyone who has gone through the same thing will tell you, you do not take in anything like that. Everything is surreal for quite some time after.

    So, this year I have lost 102 per month in pensions, money I can ill afford to lose, especially as recently I lost my job (company went bust) so had no other income apart from these pensions. Because of these pensions I would only have qualified for 5 JSA so didn't bother claiming it as it would have cost me more to travel into town to sign on than it was worth. I did start a new job on Monday so that is good.

    The Aviva pension, if I'm lucky goes up by 1% per year, the Standard Life pension by even less.

    I know my late husband paid a lot into these pensions but I feel both these pensions are an absolute rip-off.

    As far as I'm aware, the "deal" he signed up to ties me to these companies. I am sure I'd get a better return by shopping around elsewhere but I don't think I can even do this. I know the T&Cs on the Aviva one says "non transferrable".

    Really, these pensions are more trouble than they're worth. What makes it harder to budget is one comes in on the 1st of the month, the other on the 20th.

    Does anyone know if it would be possible to dump Aviva and Standard Life and roll the two pensions into one with another company?

    Or, perhaps someone on here might have a better suggestion as to what to do with them?

    And yes, I am ranting a bit about it as I think it's so unfair that widows are being penalised like this so thank you for reading.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Standard Life Pension

    Hello there.

    As far as I'm aware, pensions in payment can't be transferred.

    For more information, you could ring TPAS, the pension advisory service, who give good free advice.

    http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.o...lated-benefits

    Sadly if your husband set up the pensions to reduce in this way, that is what the insurance companies will do. I agree that Standard Life could have handled it more sensitively.

    Was he drawing pensions from these plans at the time he passed away?

    HB

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Standard Life Pension

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee13 View Post
    Hello there.

    As far as I'm aware, pensions in payment can't be transferred.

    For more information, you could ring TPAS, the pension advisory service, who give good free advice.

    http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.o...lated-benefits

    Sadly if your husband set up the pensions to reduce in this way, that is what the insurance companies will do. I agree that Standard Life could have handled it more sensitively.

    Was he drawing pensions from these plans at the time he passed away?


    HB
    Yes he was. He cashed in the Aviva pension in 2004 after he suffered his first major (and almost fatal heart attack, one doctors call a Widowmaker). He'd just turned 50 at the time and due to the severity of the heart attack couldn't return to his job. He did take another job after several months off so the lump sum was used to sustain us. I couldn't work at the time because my son was also seriously ill - kidney failure which meant frequent trips to hospital 50 miles away. The lump sum he got wasn't that big a sum of money but did help until my husband got another job. At that time the monthly pension was approximately 180 per month. He cashed in the Standard Life pension, later that year but the payout on that was very low. From 2004 to the present day, that pension went up from about 71 to 75, and now, of course, it's been cut in half.

    I would also like to know just how much these companies take off in hidden fees and charges.

    I think the whole private pension thing is just a racket and yet another way of lining the pockets of the fat cats that run them and more tax for the Treasury.

    To be honest, I'd love to offload these blasted pensions - they're more trouble than they're worth and if it was possible to cash them both in I would and reinvest the money elsewhere.

    Your suggestion of contacting TPAS is a good one and I will contact them next week and see what they have to say.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Standard Life Pension

    sadly once you have cashed in your pension and are receiving the income, that is that

    The t &cs are set at the time of annuity purchase and cannot be altered, neither can you transfer to another provider.

    The charges and commissions earned by the insurance companies, have over the years, always been extorionate

    you have only to look at the likes of NPI and Equitable Life


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