Proof of Existence for Occupational Pension

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by emmawoolyback, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    My Nanna has had Alzheimers for many years now and resides in a Nursing Home.

    She turned 80 last year and has been receiving an occupational pension since retirement age.

    A few weeks ago, she received a letter from her occupational pension provider requesting proof of her existence.

    Obviously, she is not in a position to be able to sign the form herself so I contacted them to explain the situation. They have stated that unless they receive the form back signed by a Power Of Attorney or Court Of Protection form (neither of which we have), that they will be stopping her pension payments.

    Does anyone have any experience of this? It just seems completely immoral that they can stop her pension payments like this when she worked all her life for it.

    Any help or advice would be most appreciated.

    Emma
     
  2. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    526
    British Isles
    Hello Emma

    I am sure that someone will be along with better advice soon but it must be a common issue as the pension providers of course have to try to prevent fraud.

    When I contacted my mother's pension provider last year as she was too ill to sign I found that I could not readily provide what they did ask for. However I asked a friend who had known Mum for many years to certify that she was still alive but residing in a nursing home and unable to write her name. My friend provided her own contact details and occupation in the letter.

    The pension payments continued.
     
  3. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    Thanks for your reply Gigglemore.

    I did ask them when I called if they would accept a letter from the nursing home (on letter headed paper) as proof that she does still exist and the answer was no.

    The person I spoke to said that they will only accept either a POA or COP - nothing else.

    My Grandad is finding the whole situation very distressing and I would like to get it resolved ASAP.

    If our only choice is to go for a COP then we will have to do so. It just seems like an awful lot of money to satisfy them that my Nanna is still alive.

    Emma
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    I think you're going to have to move up the food chain, frankly. This is the sort of thing that needs to be handled on an individual basis and probably needs someone higher up than whoever answered the phone.

    As a matter of interest, is the local authority involved in funding any of your grandmother's care? They may have dealt with this before.
     
  5. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    Hi Emma, my Mom had a similar letter a few years back.

    Are you absolutely, really, definitely sure that your Nanna cannot sign the form at all?;)

    :)
     
  6. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    Thanks Jennifer.

    My Nanna's care is fully funded by the local authority - she is under Section 3.
     
  7. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    I know what you are saying Pete but now that I have called and explained that she is not in a position to be able to do so, am worried about what the consequences would be if she did "manage" to sign the form herself.
     
  8. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,323
    Female
    Chester
    I agree with JenniferPA - you need to speak to someone else rather than the call centre bod.

    Back when I used to audit pension schemes (in the 90s) and went on courses telling us what the pension scheme should accept as proof, a signed certificate from the GP was considered acceptable. Perhaps offer this.

    In this instance you may get further by writing than a phone call.

    Our personal tax dept regularly come across clients no longer receiving pensions as they haven't completed the paperwork.

    I would suggest someone signing a legal document such as this without capacity is not legally valid, and if detected would not be viewed too favourably.
     
  9. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    Thanks for your advice jugglingmum.

    Perhaps I should call back and ask to speak to a supervisor etc.. before going to the time and expense of getting a COP.
     
  10. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    Yes the section 3 kind of complicates matters but doesn't mean that there is no capacity at to make decisions at a particular time.

    Good luck and I hope you get it sorted.

    :)
     
  11. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    362
    If the pension payments are outsourced i.e. not being dealt with by the company under whose scheme the pension is being paid, I'd contact the liaison people at the company itself. When my father died, both pension providers' administrators made a mess and the messes were sorted only when I got hold of the firms themselves. They will have much more leeway to make decisions and apply common sense.
     
  12. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    Yes move well up the food chain.

    I've asked someone who worked in pensions and they feel they are being very harsh, but you may get a better response from someone a lot senior.

    Talk to someone much more senior and if they are insistent they need official confirmation she is still alive, ask if a doctors letter would be suitable.




    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  13. emmawoolyback

    emmawoolyback Registered User

    Jan 27, 2016
    8
    Just wanted to say than you very much for all of your advice.

    After ringing for a third time and asking to speak to a Manager straight away, I explained the situation and think we have made some progress.

    They are now sending out an alternative form which they say they will accept if I fill it in, send a photocopy of my passport and a letter from the Care Home confirming that my Nanna does reside there.

    They have also said that they will continue paying her pension until they receive the requested information.

    Fingers crossed that this satisfies them.

    Thanks again!

    Emma
     
  14. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    Good to hear :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     

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