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Utmost (former Equitable Life) - Scottish Widows pensions complaint via Pensions Ombudsman.

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Utmost (former Equitable Life) - Scottish Widows pensions complaint via Pensions Ombudsman.

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Please add any notes relating to the effective entrapment of our pensions by Utmost - Scottish Widows and communications with the Pensions Ombudsman. I will call them tomorrow and discuss potentially grouping our individual, although common, complaints into a single 'class action'. If that is not possible I will take soundings on the most effective way of co-coordinating efforts for quicker results. 

Replies

  • pensionpawnpensionpawn Forumite
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    I called the Pension Ombudsman and the long and the short of it is that there is no advantage to arranging a collective complaint. In fact causing Utmost / your trustees to deal with the same issue with multiple clients may better work for us due to the overheads it will create for them.

  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    How exactly are you being entrapped by Utmost or Scottish Widows?
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • pensionpawnpensionpawn Forumite
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    dunstonh said:
    How exactly are you being entrapped by Utmost or Scottish Widows?
    I was in a group pension scheme within my Equitable Life Pension. Utmost state they will only take instruction through the trustees / administrators (Scottish Widows) who maintain they are in a contractual dispute with Utmost and can (will?) not contact Utmost on my behalf at present. This has been the situation since 1st January, hence raising a complaint though the Pensions Ombudsman who have powers to issue fines.
  • Pension_barredPension_barred Forumite
    3 posts
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    I spoke to "Sarah" at Scottish Widows yesterday following up on my formal complaint - they plan to investigate and update me within another 4 weeks! They are well aware of the growing level of unrest amongst members including the threat of class action etc. She indicated that the problem lay with Utmost who have allegedly failed to address the legal issue between the two parties for many months. However she did refer to a recent email received from the SW Account Manager which indicated that some agreement had been reached between Utmost and SW to enable them to provide us with current valuations soon, which "should" lead to the log jam being cleared....but we've heard this before... back in January. 
    I also have managed to track down a named contact in BT Pensions (BT now own EE / Orange - my former employer) and have written to him asking for an explanation and some urgent action as I believe BT now carry the liability for the pensions of those businesses they have acquired - Happy to be corrected on this assumption.
    I will update once I have a reply.
  • Pension_barredPension_barred Forumite
    3 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie

    UPDATE: Some Progress!
    Scottish Widows rung me with a verbal valuation figure yesterday, which they have received from Utmost in the last 24hrs.
    Very little other information - no explanation of the calculation or uplift process nor which options Utmost will be offering in terms of drawdown etc. However, SW have requested full details from Utmost and hope to be writing to members within the next week.
    For those trying to work out the likely uplift - it appears that there is an element of our savings known as "Capital Distribution" this figure is buried in the small print on page 3 or 4 of the old Equitable Life statements. By my rough calculations, this amount appears to have been uplifted and doubled in value i.e. from 35% to 70%. 
    In my case, the Capital Distribution was only about 1/4 of the total value of the savings so this produced a welcome increase but not as much as some may be hoping for.
    Direct Dial for Scottish Widows Team 0800 023 4278


  • maxi56maxi56 Forumite
    12 posts
    10 Posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    After your e mail, I spoke to SW on Friday and finally they confirmed the figures.
    I am now in the process of withdrawing my pension from Utmost.
    Will the ombudsman still go ahead with our complaints?

    thank you to everybody for the support to help navigate through this farce.

  • maxi56maxi56 Forumite
    12 posts
    10 Posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    good afternoon 
    I have received my the Ombudsman a form to complete tor the complaint I made, I am not sure if I should go forward with the complaint as we have received the information, does anybody have any thoughts.  It would be appreciated 
    thanks

     
  • DoxDox Forumite
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    maxi56 said:
    good afternoon 
    I have received my the Ombudsman a form to complete tor the complaint I made, I am not sure if I should go forward with the complaint as we have received the information, does anybody have any thoughts.  It would be appreciated 
    thanks

     
    The Pensions Ombudsman is currently not taking new complaints courtesy of Covid-19, so will face a massive backlog when they open the doors again. Why on earth would you add to that if you have received the information you need?
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