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I think it could be worth finding out what the calls were about too, you could send an SAR about that.

 

What do Abbey say about waiver please and why were solicitors involved? [Don't tell us who.]

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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OK - diving into old paperwork (annoying when you can't think where some went to) anyway -

 

1992/1994 - Solicitor contacting Abbey Life to confirm Waiver of Contributions in force. They write back and say being maintained.

2005 - They requested completion of Certificate for Waiver of Contributions and it was signed and submitted.

March 2009 - The part scanned letter confirms Annuitants both my husband and myself.

 

Now - why I have scanned the letter and I wonder if the third paragraph is enough to say -

 

We were given no advice on enhanced annuities or that I, as the spouse, was not informed that I too may have also qualified.

 

Just a thought .....

Abbey Life letter dated 21 March 2009.jpg

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They seem to be saying that you had no advice at all which always used to be called Execution Only.

 

Given that you presumably aren't pensions experts, I find that surprising but it could be they think it's a good let out for them if they didn't give you enough information. Are the brackets around that paragraph yours?

 

HB

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Yes - my brackets. So does this mean they agree we didn't go elsewhere.

 

Looking through this paperwork I have found something on their quotations for the future projections if no further contributions made at Retirement date. Then there is the letter confirming that Abbey Life will continue contributions to solicitor.

 

Now looking at their Retirement options statement - I might be VERY wrong - but it looks like it could have been based on no further contributions figures. Something that at the time we just accepted and made a decision. (When money is 'tight' these figures look huge anyway.)

 

So apart from enhanced annuities - this bit has thrown me now - I almost feel maybe we need to go to someone just to look even if we have to pay.

 

It could be all this paperwork and wanting to get this right regarding enhanced annuity and now this .... getting a bit like going over old ground that I thought - NO - need need to but then these 'figures' looked at me again. At the time we just took what was said for granted so maybe they are right but what if they are wrong?

Edited by Primrose13
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Gilly, I see this a different way, for what it's worth.

 

I don't know the background, but Abbey seem to have been told to contact you to see if they made a mistake when your husband took the annuity from his personal pension plan. There have been various mis-selling practices identified over the years for pretty much all advisers in the financial sector. Abbey are trying to find out if you had the right advice at the time and whether if they'd told you to try shopping around, you might have been better off. And it seems possibly you would have been.

 

I think it's for them to show whether you'd have been better off if you'd qualified for an enhanced annuity at this stage so I'd expect them to be doing the work once you return their form.

 

HB

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I really am so grateful for your help.

 

As I said just looking through this old paperwork I am wondering if there is another error anyway - so - could it be better to see an 'accountant' to just confirm questionnaire is completed satisfactorily and to give an opinion on what I don't understand about final figures for pension fund.

 

I am just wondering how much they would charge and then can you trust them to not make a 'big deal' of it without any benefits but we have lighter pockets. Who could I go to i wonder and just ask?

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Hi. Don't rush to consult anyone yet, or if you want to speak to someone ask how much it's likely to cost but I don't imagine it would be cheap.

 

For what it's worth, I don't know how many accountants would understand this. I also don't know how compensation is worked out because actuarial science is a closed book to me, far too complicated. Given that your annuity is £1200+ a year, I imagine any compensation if you were eligible for an enhanced annuity at the time would be to bring the level of the annuity up to the amount it would have been with any enhanced annuity, if you see what I mean.

 

What do you mean about final figures for pension fund? It's best not to overcomplicate this.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
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Right, this is an investigation that the Financial Conduct Authority did, so Abbey have been told to contact you rather than offering out of the kindness of their hearts.

 

There are articles on the FCA website, but this one about a couple of large insurance companies is easier to understand and also gives you an idea about figures.

 

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-5058889/Pru-Standard-Life-compensate-mis-selling-victims.html

 

HB

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Hi Gilly, how are you getting on?

 

A couple of things for you. I think it's worth sending an SAR to Abbey [click on SAR for more information].

 

Also, if you would like guidance on this form and the issues with Abbey, I believe the FCA have a helpline and there's also TPAS [the Pensions Advisory Service] who are helpful.

 

HB

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OK - where I am at now - after looking at old paperwork it brought back memories.

 

1st - In 1991 - solicitor (because husband had been involved in a RTA) contacted them asking for confirmation of policy and the Waiver of Contributions element.

 

They forwarded a schedule of estimated benefits payable at retirement based on no further contribution and with contributions.

 

They also confirmed that the contribution level of £... has been maintained by Abbey Life since client's accident.

 

2nd - I cannot find the original agreement!! It is such a nuisance but I remember so much going on and we changed solicitor at one stage because he was useless.

 

3rd - This projection what we ended up was a figure as though contributions stopped at time of accident. NOW ---- I am sure at around that time March 2009 wasn't there the huge market crash?

 

BUT - what if they have made a mistake and the Value with options of how we took money had been mis-calculated i.e. as if payments had ceased?

 

Why I also thought they could make mistakes is because I found a letter from myself saying I noticed that they were taking the Life Assurance money from our bank and they shouldn't have been. There are letters where they are saying they will refund £1,370.84 , etc, etc and £100 for upset and cost of calls.

 

I also say in 2007 letter to them of complaint (also mentioning my phone calls) that they have admitted there was a problem with the system in their collections department that are currently being corrected.

 

Finally - it now seems quite a muddle - so I am wondering if we write to Abbey Life and ask -

 

1. Copy of the original Contract with them.

2. Ask for written confirmation that their Quotation dated 2 February 2009 - is calculated with contributions paid up until the retirement date.

 

Because IF they have made a mistake and IF enhanced annuity has to be paid then it would have to be based on the corrected figure. But somehow i don't think there is a mistake it was the market at the time that decreased the value dramatically BUT it is something we need re-assurance on.

 

Your thoughts really appreciated and the Helplines.

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OK - I have printed out the template as a guide to what I type up.

 

1. After the first sentence I could put. The data you supply must include and provide confirmation of -

 

(a) The original contract between yourselves

(b) Their Quotation dated 2 February 2009 - MUST also include confirmation that it is calculated with contributions paid by Abbey Life up until the retirement date. Just a copy of the quotation will not be adequate.

 

2. In the third para - the sentence (Please note that this Subject Access Request is not limited to the account/reference number mentioned above....etc) at first i thought it was not relevant but then I thought they could 'change' references when i.e. Retirement made changes.)

 

3. Is it really necessary at this stage to put last para 'This may lead to legal action in the county court and a judgement will then be forwarded to the FCA.'

 

BUT ..... as I type this up I think if they have already made a mistake with not following up our health and advising they did not offer enhanced annuities. Could it go this far????

 

4. Finally - to the department that the completed form should go to - I think it might be advisable to still not complete it but write saying that I am currently requesting information from Abbey Life. (They 'employed' MBA Group Limited.) Then I will be in a position to complete form - not sure if there are timescales. Maybe in letter ask if that is the case? Basically to cover ourselves.

 

5. Should I phone Abbey Life and ask what department I need to address the letter to? Back in 1991 the letter came from the administrator in the Pension Support Center.

 

Thank you again.

 

P.S. I sent before by recorded delivery and we will again.

Edited by Primrose13
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HB - Am ready to post off and have got my husband to read out template so that I can check I have copied all correctly. So have copied word for word BUT added my particular requests immediately after second para ending .....of my dealings with you.

Important note - this must include -

 

(a) The original contract between ourselves.

(b) Reference - The final Retirement Benefits Quotation for the Plan Number ............

 

Please confirm - this was calculated based on contributions paid by Abbey Life, under the Waiver of Contributions scheme, up until the date of my retirement?

 

The reason I am requesting this is because these final figures do not compare at all with the 29th May 1991 estimated benefits payable assuming contributions continue at £82.46 per month at age 65.

 

© Please confirm that Life Cover was also active to the date of retirement.

 

I then continue with para 'This Subject Access Request includes ......

 

As I said I think I may write to MBA Group Limited and ask if there is a final date to submit completed form giving the reason that i am writing to Abbey Life requesting some information.

 

Your thoughts appreciated and actually typing up the SAR the wording made more sense.

 

HB - I just want to make sure they have not made a stupid mistake because their calculation with final figure is more like if payments stopped.

Edited by Primrose13
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Are you telling them what you're asking the questions for or is that just for us? I would keep the SAR to what it, is a request for information and not tell them anything else.

 

Have you asked them to include details of phone calls?

 

Lastly, who are MBA Group please?

 

HB

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Thank you HB

 

This part I thought about adding in the text for the SAR.

 

Important note - this must include -

 

(a) The original contract between ourselves.

(b) Reference - The final Retirement Benefits Quotation for the Plan Number ............

 

Please confirm - this was calculated based on contributions paid by Abbey Life, under the Waiver of Contributions scheme, up until the date of my retirement?

 

The reason I am requesting this is because these final figures do not compare at all with the 29th May 1991 estimated benefits payable assuming contributions continue at £82.46 per month at age 65. They are more similar to those quoted as if payments stopped after accident.

 

© Please confirm that Life Cover was also active to the date of retirement.

 

The reason being they can provide me with copies of what I have but still in my mind I wonder if they miscalculated the final figure because of previous errors.

 

No sorry I have omitted to ask that in the SAR - will add that to it that could be point (d)

 

MBA Group is who the envelope is addressed to who are handling the Abbey Life Questionnaires.

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P.S.

 

Will put for -

 

(d) Transcript of phone calls.

 

Note: The first sentence of the SAR states - Please supply me with copies of all the data which you hold on me in relation to any matter and in any form and for any period of time. I think I thought that also included phone calls.

 

Thank you HB

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Hi. I wouldn't put this in myself, they don't need to know why you're asking. I don't know if it would put them on the back foot, but as I said, you're asking questions at this point.

 

The reason I am requesting this is because these final figures do not compare at all with the 29th May 1991 estimated benefits payable assuming contributions continue at £82.46 per month at age 65. They are more similar to those quoted as if payments stopped after accident.

 

I agree, that sentence is also asking for phone calls, don't think you need to add to that.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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So even though we are wondering if there is an error - on SAR -

 

1. Take out our questions.

2. Wait for all info to come.

 

When it arrives -

 

3. Next ask for confirmation on their calculations i.e was Waiver of Contributions paid until retirement?

 

4. Information should also have transcript of phone calls. If there is nothing to indicate they suggested an enhanced annuity could be available elsewhere. That makes claim easier.

 

Finally, would you write to MBNA (Abbey Life Questionnaire) to check no closure date for questionnaire to be returned? Could say we are waiting for information from Abbey Life.

 

Thank you again HB

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I've asked someone to look in on this, but I think taking out your questions could be the right way to go. When I said it might need amending, I meant to be appropriate for your case rather than narrowing the documents you're asking for.

 

As I understand it, the SAR is an open question so that they send you all the information they have on your husband's pension plan.

 

Hopefully one of the team will comment.

 

HB

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The best approach to sending an SAR is to keep it as general as possible.

If you describe precisely what you want then you limit the scope of the enquiry. That means that there could be stuff missing and they might reasonably be able to say that it wasn't asked for.

 

That's why in my view, an SAR should simply ask for "all personal data in any form… including screen notes, correspondence both internal and external, call logs and call recordings…on any matter"

 

There's really no need to to start to obsess about the form of words. The important thing when you get an SAR is to check what's there – and also check what's not there.

 

Don't give them any clues.

 

It's very much the same when drafting a particulars of claim for a County Court action. Keep it is general and is open as possible whilst identifying the cause of action. After that, don't give any clues that might provide cues for the defence.

 

Who said any of it was an honourable business?

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Thank you both of you. So the plan -

 

1. Forward the exact copy of the SAR with Customer Ref/Policy Number.

 

2. I am worried that not returning the form could cause an issue - could we miss out an claiming enhanced annuity? So shall I do as I say - ask if there is a closure date? So we are waiting for requested information from Abbey Life.

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Hi Gilly.

 

Fwiw, I don't think you're claiming an enhanced annuity now, I think you would have done that 10 years ago if you'd known. As I understand the compensation, Abbey Life have to put you in the position you would have been in financially if you'd been able to buy an enhanced annuity, ie a lump sum to make up the difference. Assuming you would have qualified for an enhanced annuity at the time.

 

I could be wrong, but I don't think you can undo the annuity you bought with Abbey.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Ok - it may be the way I am wording all this - but

 

First - I am sending the SAR tomorrow exactly as it is worded.

 

Secondly - I do understand it could mean we get a lump sum - if we qualify. Hence - maybe we send off questionnaire answering to the best of our ability. (99.9% sure there will not be anything from Abbey Life in transcripts etc talking about our health and that we could shop around.)

 

Thirdly - maybe I am misunderstanding how enhanced annuity works. I thought they would look at the figure i.e. total of pension at retirement to then buy an enhanced annuity.

 

So the more money in your pension pot at that time dictates what the value of the enhanced annuity is. Doesn't it work like that? (Only that's why I am thinking if they made a mistake with the pension value it will affect the annuity lump sum compensation if we are entitled.)

 

I am so grateful for all this support and I apologize if I am not grasping this as quickly as i should.

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Hi.

 

Your 'thirdly' point. The value of your pension is what it is at your chosen retirement age, it doesn't change depending on your state of health.

 

That fund value is then used to buy an annuity. You may not have seen this process because Abbey got you to take their annuity but at the time you could have asked annuity providers on the open market to quote you for an alternative annuity, possibly an enhanced one. Abbey said that they didn't provide enhanced annuities at the time, didn't they?

 

Again I could be wrong, but I think any compensation would be calculated on the income you have missed out on since 2009 and presumably in the future, payable as a lump sum.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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