“Kathy, may l take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance. There were many times l thought l was losing my mind during my efforts with Aviva. You were a pillar of support for me and you saw my case through to the very end. I cannot thank you enough but thank you again. It is through people like you who strive for professional fairness as well as thoroughness, HCA has such a good reputation.”
“Gillian goes above and beyond, she is very responsive to the whole team and delivers outstanding work. ”
“Where PSGS are appointed to act in conjunction with an existing body of trustees, we have found that they are quickly able to fit in well and gain the trust and respect of their co-trustees. ”
“Many organisations and people provide the services that clients need. In my opinion, the differentiator is in the way those services are provided and to that extent, Kathy embodies the qualities that I have come to value from PSITL. Kathy is organised but not fussy; diligent but not dogmatic; persistent without being pushy and compliant in a pragmatic way. Whilst she takes ownership and drives issues forward, Kathy is a team player who uses her and her colleagues experience to provide services to her trustee client whilst working closely with those like me representing the sponsoring employer. She works collaboratively with advisers but constructively challenges the scope of services, fees and service standards whenever necessary and makes sure that member needs are always taken into account. I enjoy working with her and trust that she will deliver what is required by the trustee and the members they represent in a manner satisfactory to the sponsoring employer. ”
“The trustee training course covered a wide variety of subjects which gives a good basis for future discussion and decision making during trustee meetings.”
“We have realised the benefit of having and independent trustee. Claire sees what general practice is like, so is able to guide us.”
I really can’t stress enough how critical it is to check your pension scheme’s administration records accurately reflect members’ benefits and circumstances - especially if you’re transitioning administration. I’ve been working on a case recently (well, it has lasted just under two years) where this most definitely hadn’t happened and it has been a real pain to resolve.
Just when you thought it was over…
The case was discovered as part of the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) reconciliation exercise (which had been closed but was then reopened by HMRC). We found a member’s benefits had been put into payment, but they’d actually previously transferred out. The overpayment was tens of thousands of pounds.
The pension trustees had agreed terms with the member for the repayment of the overpayment. Excellent. The member’s relative, on their behalf, then submitted a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman, which was later withdrawn.
How did it all happen?
The crux of the error was the pension scheme’s administrator did not check the GMP at State Pension age and also ignored information from the member who told them they thought they had transferred out!
To cap it all, the member records were incorrect too. It became clear the procedures followed when the administration service was transitioned a few years earlier had been poor. Controls and processes were not followed by the pension administrator.
There are a few lessons to be learned from this example, not least correctly following procedures, checking everything and then checking it has been checked. This should happen whenever a member’s record is accessed for whatever reason.
Applying common sense is another. After all, if a member tells you they think they have transferred out…
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