Written on: 06/09/2011
Having been sold a private (Section 32) pension by a company of IFAs to transfer from a company pension scheme to an insurance based pension scheme it was later that I realised sales talk had won the day and my pension pot was not comparable to the original company scheme. Under the legislation of the day, I raised a complaint which was favourably considered and 50% was ordered to be added to the Section 32 under an adjoining and separate redress policy. All fine and fair so far and now enter Legal & General.
I decided to place the two policies, the main policy which carried a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) and the redress policy with Legal & General, there were many companies offering similar illustrations. I received annual statements for 10 years showing both incrementing annually with bonuses saved and before the 2007/2008 meltdown a forecasted terminal bonus. Towards the end of the term I had been advised by L & G that the policies would be additive when the pension pot became due and asked for documentaion to support this. It was not forth coming despite many email requests and letters, all were cleverly side stepped from department to department over a period of 7 months when I was advised that rules were now in place to absorb my redress money within the main pension in order to pay the GMP making this of no benefit to myself as the GMP was guaranteed anyway.
So half the pension pot was decimated and so too the paid out pension. No offer of 25% tax free cash was made and a miserly pension without inflation escallation was in place, no transfer was possible as competitors would not want to pick up the GMP responsibility.
I can accept the financial crisis hammered the pension payout, lack of terminal bonus and the company reserves but not to blatantly change the conditions in play.
That is not all, the original policy document had the added extra clause that on my death and also that of my wife whilst our children were under 25, a half pension would be paid to them. This is the document I signed when the policy was taken out. Legal & General have produced a new document without this facility and said that these are the current terms of the policy.
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