I have just had a client who had to wait to draw protected rights because his wife was dying and I did not want to incorporate a spouse. Also, the accepting scheme, as we were using a special temporary annuity, was not able to take protected rights until this month.
We then discovered that although we had been quoted a figure of £57,000 by Scottish Widows five weeks ago, this figure had now fallen to £50,000.
Surely, once a terminal bonus has been earned, it is due to the client. If it is then clawed back, it just goes into the insurance company’s coffers to shore up their funds. They were unable to switch into cash as they had no other funds on that particular plan.
Then, on the same day, I had a client with a very small collection of pensions from the Pru.
Apart from the fact that it took 20 minutes to get through to somebody in Scotland, we then found out they had knocked 15 per cent off again in just a few weeks since the beginning of November.
I think this is a very serious matter and the sooner we can get shot of with-profits the better.
It is very refreshing to note that we have new kids on the block, such as Living Time from AIG which is a first-class product, with superb, friendly and charming staff and great efficiency, and some of the smaller companies, such as Winterthur, who seem to have leapt forward recently, Liverpool Victoria et al.
Let us hope that they start kicking these slumbering giants into touch.
Principal, Jamieson Financial Management
Bognor Regis, West Sussex