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Two Sun Life pensions merged without notice


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Hello… I wonder if there is anyone who can help with this, please?

 

Years ago my husband who is financially naive, (to say the very least), was sold several pensions, life insurances, annuities, etc., by an IFA.

 

Amongst other things there were two pensions with Sun Life, (why he was sold two policies with the same pension provider is a mystery, but the IFA probably got paid commission for both of them).

 

For several years they were paid in by direct debit under the two different policy numbers, then, when my husband was made redundant and stopped paying in, it would appear that at some point both pensions merged into just one policy. He was not informed of this, or if he was, they may have written to the wrong address as we moved a few times.

 

Both pensions were quite small and under the rule of triviality, he would probably have been able to take the money from each without having to buy an annuity, but by merging the two, it increased the amount of the pension pot to more than £30k.

 

The pension pays about £130 per month. he could really benefit from having the cash as there are no savings and he could pay down the mortgage as it won't be paid off when it ends soon.

 

The IFA is still in business and I tried to contact him to ask about the portfolio he set up, as there may be an endowment which could help as well, but he won't answer my emails…

 

Should my husband contact Sun Life and ask why the pensions were merged and if there is no good reason, would he be entitled to claim what's left in the pot, even though he purchased an annuity?

 

Or will the new pension rules allow him to do that anyway? There was talk last year that people who had bought annuities would be entitled to their money but would have to wait an extra year for it… I've not heard anything since...

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Hello again.

 

I'll move your thread to the pensions forum for further advice.

 

There's no reason why you shouldn't speak to Sun Life, especially if the broker is ignoring you.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Here's a link to an article in the Telegraph about the new rules that should come in next year.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/11481428/Five-million-pensioners-can-cash-in-their-annuities-from-April-2016-says-George-Osborne.html

 

If your IFA won't advise you, try the Money Advice Service or Pension Wise for free advice.

 

HB

  • Confused 1

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Both pensions were quite small and under the rule of triviality, he would probably have been able to take the money from each without having to buy an annuity, but by merging the two, it increased the amount of the pension pot to more than £30k.

 

As I understand the rules of triviality, it is the sum of all the pension pots combined that determine if you could draw the full amount as a lump sum. There were some additional rules that I believe allowed one to cash in small pots of under £2,000, but this all changed in 2014 and again in the last budget.

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As I understand the rules of triviality, it is the sum of all the pension pots combined that determine if you could draw the full amount as a lump sum. There were some additional rules that I believe allowed one to cash in small pots of under £2,000, but this all changed in 2014 and again in the last budget.

 

 

Ahh… that's interesting… many thanks!

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Here's a link to an article in the Telegraph about the new rules that should come in next year.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/11481428/Five-million-pensioners-can-cash-in-their-annuities-from-April-2016-says-George-Osborne.html

 

If your IFA won't advise you, try the Money Advice Service or Pension Wise for free advice.

 

HB

 

Thank you, HB!

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when did he convert the policies to an annuity? The PAS may well be able to help if he did this recently under the advice of someone else. They may also be able to advise on the behaviour IFA if there is mileage in making an official complaint.

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well maybe the reason was = Gordon Brown in his infinite wisdom decided that once you got to 55 yrs old you cannot top up your pension payments into that plan, you have to take a stakeholder/another pension plan, hence I ended up with two to the same company, when they paid out pension they combined the two together to make one payment in pension monies, no doubt the reason you state two pensions same company.

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:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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Hi… thanks for the post. I think the policies merged and then converted automatically into annuities at 60… I am not sure… He wouldn't have bothered to shop around or anything… he doesn't understand pensions at all… I don't think anyone does… not even the Govt!! But I feel there will definitely be a Mis sold Pensions scandal in a bit… the IFA is avoiding us like the plague and refusing to contact despite several emails… It was a company which kept going bust and setting up again in a different name...

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Scandal was the 80s Section 32 Opt Out - =

 

that even I was caught out with getting you to opt out of company schemes offering better possible final % payouts by Banks/Insurance companies hence the Bank in my case had to rectify shortfall (projected) and issued a paid up Pension policy with another supplier ( no cash refund of difference) but a pension at 65 yrs old albeit of wait for it wiat for it!!!!!!!!!!! £ 28.16 a month Minus Tax = £23.00 a month net.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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Scandal was the 80s Section 32 Opt Out - =

 

that even I was caught out with getting you to opt out of company schemes offering better possible final % payouts by Banks/Insurance companies hence the Bank in my case had to rectify shortfall (projected) and issued a paid up Pension policy with another supplier ( no cash refund of difference) but a pension at 65 yrs old albeit of wait for it wiat for it!!!!!!!!!!! £ 28.16 a month Minus Tax = £23.00 a month net.

 

 

B'stards!!

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well maybe the reason was = Gordon Brown in his infinite wisdom decided that once you got to 55 yrs old you cannot top up your pension payments into that plan, you have to take a stakeholder/another pension plan, hence I ended up with two to the same company, when they paid out pension they combined the two together to make one payment in pension monies, no doubt the reason you state two pensions same company.

 

 

I seem to remember the IFA setting up the 2nd pension within a very short time of the first… I wouldn't be surprised if it was done just so he could have double commission… He set up lots of other stuff as well, but husband was paying £600 per month, just into the pensions, without all the other stuff..

 

I don't know how £600 a month leaves you with such a small annuity, though…

 

:-(

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If I may, Dookist, I don't think the annuity rate is the angle to pursue at this stage.

 

In your place, I'd be finding out how the pensions were set up and whether you were misadvised. How much paperwork have you got and have you got anywhere with Sun Life, the MAS or Pension Wise?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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If I may, Dookist, I don't think the annuity rate is the angle to pursue at this stage.

 

In your place, I'd be finding out how the pensions were set up and whether you were misadvised. How much paperwork have you got and have you got anywhere with Sun Life, the MAS or Pension Wise?

 

HB

 

 

Thanks HB… I've not really started digging yet, apart from contacting the office of the IFA… He has not replied and seems to be avoiding me… I wonder if he is still receiving commission on all the investments he set up for us… There were quite a few...I am particularly interested to find out what happened to an endowment policy he arranged for a mortgage with Abbey National…I still have old bank statements with policy numbers, etc., but with regard to the pensions I am really not sure which questions I should be asking with regard to whether we were misadvised…

 

I didn't realise, for instance that by contracting out of SERPS, there would be a reduced State pension… I don't remember being told anything to that effect…

 

Well… I suppose I'd better dig out all the statements, then and go from there…

 

Thanks for the post!

 

D

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I am really not sure which questions I should be asking with regard to whether we were misadvised....

 

Depending on when you took out the investments, you should have had 'Reason Why' letters explaining why they were suitable for your circumstances. This is why it's important to keep paperwork

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks HB… I've not really started digging yet, apart from contacting the office of the IFA… He has not replied and seems to be avoiding me… I wonder if he is still receiving commission on all the investments he set up for us… There were quite a few...I am particularly interested to find out what happened to an endowment policy he arranged for a mortgage with Abbey National…I still have old bank statements with policy numbers, etc., but with regard to the pensions I am really not sure which questions I should be asking with regard to whether we were misadvised…

 

I didn't realise, for instance that by contracting out of SERPS, there would be a reduced State pension… I don't remember being told anything to that effect…

 

Well… I suppose I'd better dig out all the statements, then and go from there…

 

Thanks for the post!

 

D

 

contracted out of serps as part of the pension paid for by government it seems, I queried this later years, got contracted back in quick, but lost out on my pension payout on state pension let alone this misselling under Section 32 opt out fiasco.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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contracted out of serps as part of the pension paid for by government it seems, I queried this later years, got contracted back in quick, but lost out on my pension payout on state pension let alone this misselling under Section 32 opt out fiasco.

 

I don't know how anyone can understand even half of it… stitched up like kippers!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I see those who have bought annuities must now wait until at least 2017 to get at their money… I imagine the snouts will be in the trough all the while… there will be nothing left by then...

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Have you managed to speak to any of the people suggested about these pensions, TB?

 

HB

 

 

Not yet, HB… I have been a bit busy with other stuff… (Life is full of 'stuff'… as soon as you get rid of one thing, something else comes along and takes its place).

 

I will report back as soon as I know anything more… TB

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I am really not sure which questions I should be asking with regard to whether we were misadvised....

 

Depending on when you took out the investments, you should have had 'Reason Why' letters explaining why they were suitable for your circumstances. This is why it's important to keep paperwork

 

HB

 

It probably didn't help that we moved several times without telling the IFA…at the time, we didn't think about pensions very much… just paid by direct debit and forgot about them… we were younger, then… much of what they sent went straight in the bin… but I did save statements, even though I didn't understand them… I just need to find where they are… possibly in one of the boxes in the loft that we never bothered to unpack… *sigh*...

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