In events that smack of the TV farce Fawlty Towers, firms that took over rival companies simply lost whole box loads of paperwork recording pension contributions and entitlements, sometimes during office moves.
Thousands of mergers have occurred in the pensions industry in recent decades, many of them in the Eighties and Nineties when paper-based record keeping was the norm.
I am eternally grateful that I was dealing with a major pension firm UK wide and though that’s no guarantee, this one has turned out as it should have. Of course they ripped me off to the tune of maybe 5-7% on pedantic little things such as signing two days late or whatever but overall, they were responsible, i.e. they didn’t lose or try to deny my pension entitlement.
My feeling for people who have lost their pensions is one of horror, a feeling of numbness for them. There, but for the Grace … The inadvertently wisest thing I ever did, in a life riddled with error, was to travel overseas and miss the opt-out thingy and the whole Blair era. That one backfired badly on those who took the option.
And have you seen the new pension arrangement, from 2016, where those under a certain age, when they become age-eligible, get full pension on 35 years contributions, down to zero entitlement on less than 10 years?
Mind you, it does seem fair on principle, when starting out, but not fair when people might be approaching 60 now, have always gone by the old ground rules and now will find themselves without. Again, I’m not affected but it does seem to stink.
What is a huge worry is this cavalier attitude and inefficiency, incompetence, with other people’s entrusted funds. That’s these people’s nest eggs – that’s their old age in there. Horrific is the only word I can find and deep anger at the cavalier younger people who abused the trust.
My goodness – surely it should be the other way about – scrupulous with what has been entrusted to you and perhaps a little careless with your own.