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EDITIONS
Friday, 17 November, 2000, 13:44 GMT
Pensions factsheet
Working Lunch has compiled a factsheet to help you to choose, understand and complain about your pension.

General Pension Bodies

PENSIONLINE - Tel: 020 8643 9663

Financial Services Authority (FSA)

Public Enquiries Office - Tel: 0845 606 1234

Personal Investment Authority (PIA)

For complaints about your pension - Tel: 020 7538-8860.
PIA Investor Helpline for Pensions Review - Tel: 020 7417-7001

PIA Ombudsman,
6th Floor,
1 London Wall,
London EC2Y 5EA.
Tel: 020 7600-3838

Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA)

OPRA produces a factsheet called "Putting things right" which explains the complaints procedure:

  • How OPRA handles complaints about the way in which staff do their job;
  • What OPRA will do to put things right where it makes mistakes;
  • What people should do if they are unhappy with the way in which OPRA handles a complaint.
Helpline - Tel: 01273 627600

Occupational Pensions Advisory Service (OPAS)

Contact OPAS for disputes with your company pension scheme:

11 Belgrave Road,
London,
SW1V 1RB.
Tel: 020 7233 8080

Fax: 020 7233 8016

They may refer your complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman who is based at the same address.
Tel: 020 7834 9144.

OPAS produce leaflets on tracing old pensions, ill health and early retirement, addditional voluntary contributions, personal pensions and transferring between pensions.

Annuities

The Annuity Bureau is an independent specialist which will advise on where to purchase the best annuity. They publish a free guide, "You and Your Annuity". They work on a commission or fee basis.
Tel: 020 7620 4090.

Retirement income specialists Annuity Direct provide a similar service. They update Ceefax page 260 (BBC2) which lists annuity rates.
Tel: 020 7684 5000

Income Drawdown

The Income Drawdown Advisory Bureau is an independant specialist which will advise on income drawdown, as well as phased retirement and annuities.They work on a fee basis, for those with a fund of at least 250,000. They publish a free booklet "Income Drawdown and Phased Retirement".
Tel: 020 7401 2040.

General Financial Advice

IFA Promotions will give you the names of 3 independent financial advisers in your local area, a general information pack and a coupon for a free half hour of consultation. They produce free factsheets

  • "You and Your Pension",
  • "Company Pensions"
  • "Planning Your Retirement"
Remember that the adviser will have to tell you the commission they will earn if they sell you a pension. Tel: Bristol on 0117 971 1177, leaving your name and postcode. Lines are open 8.30am to 5.30pm. (Answer machine outside working hours).

Money Management magazine has its own information service which can give the names of up to six fee based independent financial advisers.
Tel: 01179 769444

You can get specialist pensions advice from a member of The Society of Pension Consultants. They cannot given advice but they can send you a list of people in your area who may be able to help you. Write to:
St Bartholomew House,
92 Fleet Street,
London EC4Y 1DH..

The Association of Consulting Actuaries,
1 Wardrobe Place,
London EC4V 5AH.
Tel: 020 7248 3163.

Pensions for Divorcees
Fair Shares is a campaigning and support group to help separated and divorced women and women to get a fair share of an ex-spouses pension. They have a factsheet detailing legislative framework before and after the Pensions Act.Send an A4 SAE to:
Flat 2, Homer's House,
Church Street,
Rugby,
Warwickshire,
CV21 3PT.

Tracing Pensions

If you have a deferred pensions with past employers, you can use the Pension Schemes Registry to help you monitor them. Write to them with the employer's name, last known address or area and the nature of their business and they will be able to tell you who is administering the pension scheme. Their address is:
PO Box 1NN,
Newcastle,
NE99 1NN
Tel: 0191 225 6393/4

State Pensions

To find out how much state pension (basic, additional and graduated) you are likely to receive fill in form BR19 available from the local Benefits Agency (social security) office.

Retirement Pension Forecasting Unit
Benefits Agency,
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE98 1YZ.

You can also find out on their website.

Trustees

Heath Consulting are employee benefit consultants who have produced a checklist for potential member trustees in England.
Tel: 020 7234 4000.

Books and Guides

The Pensions Handbook 1998-99 From Age Concern, is published by ACE Books and costs 6.99. Available from most bookshops or from Age Concern England, 1268 London Road, London SW16 4ER. Age Concern also publishes a fact sheet on what to do about your state pension if you continue working beyond the official age of retirement.

The Which? Guide to Pensions (1998 updated), published by the Consumers Association. Price 9.99. Available only through Which? magazine free-phone number 0800 252100.

Pension Power: Understand and Control Your Most Valuable Financial Asset second edition/Feb 97 13.99 Debbie Harrison, published by John Wiley & Sons in Chichester. Enquiries: Tel: 01243 779777. The ISBN no when ordering books is: 0471972517.

Personal Pension Plans Survey
October 1998 issue of Money Management has a survey on personal pension plans. Back issues are available from Tel: 01444 445520. As well as comparing plans it also warns that as telephone selling of pensions increases it MUST be with advice, not execution only.

Your Retirement Costs 5.75 (plus 1 p+p) and is available from the Pre-Retirement Association, which also runs courses. Tel: 01483 301 170. Address: 9 Chesham Road, Guildford, GU1 3LS

The Pocket Pensions Guide by Robin Ellison explains pensions from the basics up, including state, company and personal pensions. Published by Prentice Hall Europe, 14.99.

The Pension Shop Provides two useful leaflets on pensions:

  • "The 12 most important question to ask when buying a pension"
  • "Get Real Pension Calculator".
Tel: 0115 947 0247.

The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) produce leaflets on leaving your job and keeping your pension. Write to:
12-18 Grosvenor Gardens,
London SW1W ODH.
Tel: 020 7730 0585

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