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 Post subject: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:19 am 
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Location: Over the hill
Every year I receive a form from my private pension administrator asking me to prove I'm still alive with the threat that if I don't return the form duly signed by an independent witness "promptly" my pension will be suspended. This year I received one in April and another one last week (which annoyed me somewhat). They have apologised for sending me the second one this year which was a mistake and explained that these forms are part of the UK National Fraud Initiative.
Now I don't have a problem with any measures undertaken to prevent fraudulent drains on the UK National purse but, with the exception of one person who has had 2 in 12 years, no-one else I have spoken to so far out here has ever had one of these forms.
(The form I receive is such that it's a waste of time if they wanted to stamp out fraud, but that a long story).
What I'm trying to establish amongst the UK pensioners out here before I delve further with my pension administrator is a rough idea of the number of UK pensioners (State, Local Gvt, Military) who get these forms and at what frequency.
I accept that the information I'm trying to establish is of a private nature but I would really appreciate any feedback, by PM if preferred, regarding this. I don't want, nor need, to know anyone's names, addresses or ages and any responses would remain anonymous
If you are willing to assist me I only need to know if you've ever had such a form, and at what frequency, and whether it relates to a State, Local Gvt, Military or private pension.
Many thanks

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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Hi OB

Good to see you are still alive.

Peter

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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Location: Carriço
In 2012 I took early retirement (private pension). I was only in the pension scheme of that particular UK company for one year but as it pays the mortgage I went for it (early). In 2013 I was asked to fill in and return one of those declarations. I know people (albeit Dutch and Belgian) who have to fill in a declaration every year so when I didn't get one in 2014 I phoned up the pension people in case they had sent me a form and it had gone missing. I was told I didn't have to do one every year and that there wasn't a fixed time span for these things. Last year I got another one so three years later. Am not quite sure how this stops fraud as you can ask any Tom, Dick or Harry (or Joao, Manuel, Pedro) to act as a witness.

I can't tell you about state pensions as I am way to young for that (well, they do keep moving the goal post so probably won't be entitled to it till I am 80).


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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:58 pm 
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fleurishi wrote:
Am not quite sure how this stops fraud as you can ask any Tom, Dick or Harry (or Joao, Manuel, Pedro) to act as a witness.


As you say, it doesn't stop fraud. I've enquired with the people who have witnessed my forms and not one of them has ever been contacted for verification. I'm almost tempted to fly to Florida next year and get Mr M. Mouse from Disneyworld to be my witness.
My big concern with their reliance on these forms, which have no option for anyone to complete on my behalf, is if I'm incapacitated (e.g. stroke) is that they will suspend my pension and causing Mrs OB additional worry.
Similarly this practice effectively prevents me from taking Mrs OB on a 6 month world cruise if it meant we would be away when the form arrived at home as we wouldn't be able to return it "promptly".
It is something that could affect anyone who receives one of these forms hence why I'm trying to establish how widespread they are before I start fighting for changes in procedures that won't cause next of kin extra aggravation and worry, or hinder my choices as to where and when we go anywhere for a lengthy period of time.

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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:59 pm 
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PETERFC wrote:
Hi OB

Good to see you are still alive.

Peter


And I've got a form signed by a witness to prove it!

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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:14 pm 
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Old Bloke wrote:
My big concern with their reliance on these forms, which have no option for anyone to complete on my behalf, is if I'm incapacitated (e.g. stroke) is that they will suspend my pension and causing Mrs OB additional worry.


Now you mention it, yes it can be a huge problem. For everyone. There is no Mr. Fleurishi but if I was incapacitated then it would come down to my siblings in Holland and they wouldn't have a clue about any of this. I better brief Big Bro should anything happen to me. Not if I die but if I am vegetating in a nursing home or hospital bed. :-(


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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Old Bloke wrote:
Similarly this practice effectively prevents me from taking Mrs OB on a 6 month world cruise if it meant we would be away when the form arrived at home as we wouldn't be able to return it "promptly".


Your pension people seem very strict. I just remembered that last year my form did go missing. One day I received an email from ITV asking when I was thinking of returning the form they had posted to me 2 months earlier. When I said I had never received it they said they would send me a new one and gave me two months to return it.


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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:47 pm 
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We have a collection of mainly small UK pensions. About half of them ask for this every year. Some of these insist on a signature from a witness of standing (as on a passport appliction), others are happy to receive an unwitnessed reply.
One of my pensions asks for details of my spouse as well.

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:43 am 
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I wouldn't have thought that this is a universal practice. There'll be a short list of people who need to be watched. Anyone married to a witch is bound to be on the list!

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 Post subject: Re: A straw poll.
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:18 am 
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Thanks for your reply Alan.
Global Nomad - If Mrs OB was a better witch she'd be able to increase my pension.
Fleurishi has identified a problem with these type of forms that I hadn't considered, I'm sure they're not the only single pensioner that these forms take no account who, for whatever reason, are suddenly unable to collect their post and complete the form themselves. It will be something else for me to take up with my pension administrator so that they can raise it with the National body that oversees these things.
At least Fleurishi's pension administrator had the decency to make contact by email, it seems that mine will just suspend my pension until they hear from me.
Even if this post makes people think about the consequences of being unable to complete these forms for whatever reason, as Fleurishi has done, so they can take steps to avoid additional worry it was worth it.
I'd prefer to get feedback from more pensioners but can understand people being unwilling to divulge personal info.

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