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Pension Sharing Order (PSO) (9 Posts)
Started By:
27 February, 2018 01:51PM
Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Pansy Gale - 27 February, 2018 01:51PM

I had my decree absolute last Feb (2017). I then sent off my PSO form and fee within the 4 months allowed - my husband was to have 19% of my pension. I contacted the pension provider by autumn because he had still not sent his form and fee in (and still hasn't to date). My ex said he had had a letter from them as he had a new address. I recently wrote back to the pension company as I was worried that I would have to back date payments. They confirmed that the sharing is only activated once he sends his form and fee in. He had his own solicitor and a brother who is a CAB manager advising him. Due to a history of past assault I prefer not to have contact with him. Am I obliged to remind him?

Any pointers welcome

Thanks in advance
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
davidterry - 27 February, 2018 03:30PM
>>Am I obliged to remind him?

No, but it is in your interest to do so and to get this sorted once for all. The longer these things are left the greater the chance of something changing. The capital transfer value of your pension may be changing all the time, you may still be paying into it, the scheme may go bust etc.
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Pansy Gale - 27 February, 2018 04:12PM

Thank you for your reply.
I am not paying in any more as I retired 2013. I take your point as I hate it hanging over me

Thanks again
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Pansy Gale - 09 March, 2018 01:09PM

I was about to contact my ex to remind him re the PSO but that morning I had a letter asking for £2700 in back payments which the pension co. say I have been overpaid.

In March 17 I e-mailed the pension co.to ask re when would the PSO be enacted and was told that upon receipt of the fee of £352.50, the case will be referred to the scheme actuary who will calculate the options and that these.would be sent to my ex-spouse, the order will then be implemented and any reduction would be made from the following month.
I had not heard anything for about 4 months (every month I expected a reduction) and wrote again. The reply;
'We are currently still awaiting the return of forms from your ex-spouse, to proceed further with the PSO.
Once these have been received and processed, your pension will be reduced accordingly.
Please note I will write to you once implemented to confirm your revised pension.'

I was getting a bit concerned re overpayments and wrote again;
'Does this mean that as soon as the forms are returned and processed including payment from my ex- husband that the pension share comes into effect and that this is not backdated in any way leaving me to pay a lump sum? I concerned that as he is late in sending the forms that I will be liable for the months prior to the form being processed'
The reply Oct 2017;
'I confirm your pension will only be reduced when the PSO is implemented – ie actually processed. There will not be any arrears of deduction to be made.'

I then had the letter re the overpayment so I wrote again saying the advice had misled me and today they wrote to say they are sorry I have been misinformed (their word)'There was some confusion about this last year but our legal team has confirmed that we should apply the deductions from the Transfer Day' They have offered me the option of repaying the £2700 over 2 years instead of one. I am not well off and this is will cause hardship as not only will my pension be cut but will be cut by another amount to cover the overpayment - is there anything I can do?

Any advice would be welcome
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Andyk - 09 March, 2018 02:40PM
It sounds like you are sharing a pension in payment rather than sharing a pension fund value so I am not sure how the effective date and implementation dates work with this (if you are sharing a fund value then your ex would not be entitled to any contributions made between the effective and implementation dates).

If the error is on the part of the pension provider, I would be inclined to push back and say that as this is their error then they need to be the ones footing the bill for it. From their point of view they need to be seen to be asking for the payments back, but if you complain, they may well write these off and reduce your payments from now.

You should formally complain about the fact that they gave you misleading information and they then have a certain timescale in which to reply to you with a resolution and then they have to give you referral rights to the ombudsman. You should say in your complaint that if they do not write off these payments then you will refer your case to the ombudsman because for every referral, they are charged £500 even if they are found to be not at fault, sometime that is enough to make them cave in. You could also say you will write to the press - The Daily Mail loves cases like this and any opportunity to bash financial institutions, that may also make them want to act more favorably to you rather than risk some bad publicity.
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Pansy Gale - 09 March, 2018 03:39PM
Thank you. You are right - it is in payment. I am looking at making a formal complaint. Useful info re ombudsman. Cheers
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
davidterry - 09 March, 2018 06:03PM
The pension company has my sympathy. The fact is that when there is a pension sharing order there is an implementation date. Sometimes the existing pension continues to be paid past the implementation date. In that case the person who has received pension payments to which they were not entitled is asked to refund those payments. Most pension companies are well aware of this and have standard letters which explain this possibility. It is not much different from a state pension continuing to be paid for some time after death. That is common because informing the pension service is not something the deceased's next of kin tend to think about on the day of the death. These overpayments are then recovered from the deceased's estate.

In this case the pension company seems to have written one letter which suggested something which was not the case.. This gives you a cause for complaint. However, when all is said and done the delay in implementing the pension sharing order was not down to the pension company. They now seem to be on the hook for someone else's default as a result of writing one careless letter. Of course, no-one has any sympathy for them because they are a 'financial institution' but if you look behind the facts of this situation they fault was not primarily theirs.

When money is at issue people often cast around for someone to blame which on one level is understandable but on another it can be less than just.
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
Pansy Gale - 12 March, 2018 05:38PM
Thank you for the reply - food for thought. I take your point re the overpayment and understand the temptation to look about for blame. If I had, however, been given a letter re the enactment date as you suggest some companies send out I would have put the money aside each month and perhaps not supported my children to the extent I have this past year.

Thanks again
Re: Pension Sharing Order (PSO)
davidterry - 12 March, 2018 05:52PM
No-one is blaming you. I was simply pointing out that it was not the pension company that was actually responsible for these rules or what has happened.
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