Philobiblon: Pensions: the simple story ...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pensions: the simple story ...

Get a pension, they say. Invest for the future. We're making it simple, they say.

Ha, I say.

The Independent was in the process of changing pensions schemes when I left. I went with the new one, because there was supposed to be extra back-pay paid into it. Whether or not I got that money who knows; it all got so complicated I gave up worrying about it.

So I'm with the new scheme, and I continue that as a stakeholder pension, contributing a modest amount myself each month.

But the money from the old scheme was not - for reasons I've given up trying to obtain - paid into the new one. So I've already got one scheme, my ex-Times one sitting around (which I haven't heard from for a couple of years - must chase that down), and I think I might as well amalgamate these two newest ones, to make it easier to keep track of them, and hopefully ensure I'm not paying too much in fees.

Current tally of phone calls: eight; current tally of letters: six. Have I managed to transfer the money yet? No.

Got to write another letter.



Anonymous Katherine said...

I'd recommend (but I am no expert) that you don't transfer it. The transfer value is rarely anything like as much as the value of what went in, and it is a good idea to have your eggs in a few different baskets in case an insurance company goes under and takes your money with it, a la Equitable.

2/24/2006 05:27:00 pm  
Blogger StyleyGeek said...

Grrr indeed. I sympathise completely. In the last eight years, my husband and I have lived and worked in five different countries, accumulating seven pension funds between us. Most of them make it difficult (or impossible) to transfer the savings into an overseas pension fund, or if they do allow it, huge amounts of tax are taken at both ends. Yet none of them will ever pay us out a cent, because we worked for less than two years in each place.

2/24/2006 10:58:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I'm told the transfer value is exactly the same as the "real" value - the original scheme is closing down anyway, so you have to move it for something. And stylegeek, I know exactly what you mean. I have $3,000 (c. £1,000) trapped in Australia from when I was about 25 - to become available at 55, when the income will probably buy about one cup of coffee a week. (Whereas now it would come in quite handy.) To make any sense these things need to be internationally portable - but I won't hold my breath until it happens.

2/25/2006 12:05:00 am  

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