The Pension Nightmare:
By Karen Roe of Cyprus Living:
When it comes to anything financial my eyes glaze over and I am sure I speak for many readers out there. I just do not have the capacity to understand the jargon which often accompanies legal finance situations.
I was taken aback last March when I received a letter stating that an old company pension I had was lying dormant as not all of it had been transferred some 10 years ago when I thought it had. Nice you might think, but then I was told it had to be transferred to an existing pension scheme in order for it to be worth anything.
I don’t have another pension plan but this was my only option. Now we are not talking a lot of money here so I didn’t think anyone would be interested in sorting this poultry amount out for me.
Back in March I passed the details onto a financial advisor who told me yes they could sort it, I would probably have to open a QROPS and was told the amount was not enough to make me eligible so I would probably have to top it up.
This seemed straight forward, anyway time elapsed and it was now June and nothing had happened.
While my little sum of a pension sat idly I was astute enough to know it was not earning for me.
The financial advisor came back to see me after constant phone calls but we were still no nearer towards doing a transfer.
(Are you bored yet??? I certainly was at this point).
He told me “I will get back to you.”
Well he never did and I was getting reminders from the holding company that something had to be done.
Patience must be my virtue as I waited till July which gave this guy 4 months and still we were no further forward.
I believe he left the country.
ExPAS step in to help free of charge:
I saw the advert in this very magazine (Cyprus Living) for ExPAS and wondered if there was anything that could be done.
In all honesty I didn’t feel confident as I thought the amount was so small.
Anyway I went on their website and left a message.
Within the hour I had a call from a lady called Gail, she acknowledged my message and asked me to email all the documents I had.
I told her the amount and she said it was irrelevant, the fact I had monies sitting there doing nothing when it could be earning for me was something ExPAS could change.
I was impressed with the quick response and within the next hour I had a meeting arranged for the next day with Gail.
When we met over coffee I found Gail to be a very amiable person who explained in layman’s terms without fancy jargon.
She told me that ExPAS do not use financial advisors, they also don’t charge for this service and she would make an appointment for me to see a recommended PENSION advisor, (the same one that Gail herself had used).
They have many who they recommend and I was introduced to Mark, the next day.
Armed with all my paperwork he talked me through my options and he actually found me a QROPS, (Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) where I didn’t have to pay to have it topped up.
I saw Mark a few times and he was happy to come and see me where I live out in the sticks, while the transfer was going ahead, like most things the holding company kept asking for further documents and Mark had a foot high pile of papers for me to sign, but he made it easy and explained everything as he went along.
So now my little financial world is in order, I have had nothing to pay for this privilege and my hubby gets 100% of this pension should I befall a curious accident.
Ok this pension is not going help me retire with a yacht to the Maldives, but it will pay for a holiday there every year if I so choose.
History of ExPAS:
ExPAS was establish by Gail after she had an all too similar experience as myself.
She felt there was a need to educate people, (in a nice way) about how they can get the best from their pensions.
She uses only established and proven successful Pension advisors who can understand you and your lifestyle.
Please contact ExPAS even if you think you are sorted with your Pension:
This is very true as Mark wanted to know all sorts about me before he would advise, (lifestyle, expected age when I wanted to draw my pension, other financial interests I may have, family & husband.)
I would strongly recommend anyone to give Gail a call, even if you think you have your financial needs all sewn up, you never know how you could improve them, you have nothing to lose and probably quite a bit to gain.
If you visit their user friendly website, you can read how ExPAS started and what they can do for you.
This is one occasion when size doesn’t matter!