LV policyholder who wanted to change her mind on buying an annuity after Chancellor drops pension bombshell contacts The APH Team
Since founding angrypolicyholders.com my wife Nicola and I have worked tirelessly in our spare time to help the rising number of consumers contacting us trying to get redress. We have never pretended to be experts, just a couple who can appreciate what it is like when your world comes crashing down after an insurance claim is refused.
This week we were contacted by a lady called Sandra who helps care for her sick friend who had just taken out an annuity with LV=. As we all know the Chancellor dropped a pension bomb in the budget sending both consumers and insurers into a spin as both tried to keep pace with the changes.
LV= announced following the budget that it had extended its cancellation period from 30 to 60 days and would refund funds to clients where it is “in their best interests”. The small print did state that the start of the cooling off period was the date of application and not the date you received your money.
So how would LV= act when one of its clients wanted to cancel their annuity after the cooling off period? We contacted LV= and asked if they could look into Christine’s case following her comment on an article we wrote on angrypolicyholders.com
Sandra’s story – My friend wants to cancel her annuity…
I have a dear friend who has been unfortunate to have developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which has turned her world upside down and been extremely difficult for her as it’s taken about six years of going back and forth to her GP before they even accepted that she had a genuine problem. She needed to give up work and go on benefits, and that was a minefield in itself, and so very stressful. She’s now approaching retirement and wanted to access her private pension to help fund her mortgage repayments so looked into a buying a lifetime annuity.
We did the legwork, shopped around, got the best deal possible in early February and opted for an LV= enhanced annuity. We were pleased as, at the time, that was the best option. Towards the end of February her money went into LV= ‘s bank account . Phew, all sorted, she could relax.
Fast forward to budget day. We could have cried. Christine could have had the option of accessing the whole of her pension pot in a years’ time! We were devastated, couldn’t believe it. She rang LV= to cancel the policy under the 30 days option only to be told that we were out of time as they count from when the application goes in and not from the set-up day when the money went in!
To have missed the opportunity of having access to the whole pension pot by a few days was so hard to take. Christine emailed her financial adviser who had been so helpful up until this point but just emailed that ”Nothing I can do, you were out of time”!
Not being someone to let such an important and golden opportunity to have had the chance whereby in twelve month’s time my friend could have been able to pay off her remaining mortgage and have a little money left to enjoy what time she has left before her health deteriorates my mind went into overdrive .
How could I help? Who could I contact for advice?
Being a pensioner myself and not too bad on the old internet I began to email comments and letter’s pages of several national newspapers. Knowing that Angela Rippon had lost her mother to Alzheimer’s and Angela herself has been helping the Alzheimer’s Society I emailed her and Rip Off Britain asking for advice. I also emailed Martin Lewis’s money site, and then quite by accident, came across a brilliant website called angrypolicyholders.com!
I was delighted when AngryPolicyholders.com contacted me for more details. Chris, from the website offered to help and said he’d ring LV on our behalf.
A few hours later my friend was telephoned by LV= to say that they were willing to cancel Christine’s policy and return her money! We were over the moon! We are so grateful that LV= has given Christine the chance of a brighter, less stressful future with the knowledge that from next year she will be mortgage free!
We’re very aware that they needn’t have done this. They’ve also had their business turned upside down post budget. So we thank them very much for their goodwill gesture.
We also say a huge thank to Angry Policyholders for their help and support, and to Rip Off Britain who were going to have helped too .
It’s so nice to be able to thank all of these people.
We got a splendid RESULT !!! Thanks to one and all!
AngryPolicyholders.com approached LV= about the outcome of Sandra and Christine’s case. LV= Managing Director, Richard Rowney told angrypolicyholders.com: “We are doing all we can to offer flexibility so customers are given the same opportunities to plan for their retirements that they would have had if their timing had been informed by the budget. Fortunately, as there were no tax consequences for this customer, we were able to review her case and unwind the annuity.”
Finally, we leave the last word to Christine: “Once again, by allowing me to cancel my annuity policy post budget it will make such a tremendous difference to my life to be able to access my whole private pension pot from next April . I’ll be able to pay off my mortgage and have some over to have a nice holiday and do things with friends before my early-onset Alzheimers gets worse and I’m unable to enjoy myself .
“Falling foul to Alzheimer’s in your 50’s is a bummer , but, now with no worries from next year of how I’m going to afford to pay my mortgage each month I’ve got my freedom ! I really can’t thank you enough .”
Her friend Sandra concluded by saying: “I’d like to thank LV= on behalf of myself and Christine for allowing her to cancel her annuity. It will make such a huge difference to her life from next year when she will be able to pay off her outstanding mortgage and have some money left which will enable her make the most of what time she has left before her Alzheimer’s gets worse and she’s unable to enjoy life as she knows it .
“She’s got a wonderful positive attitude towards life and to have the chance of access to her pension pot in a year’s time will lift the stress on her of how to fund her monthly mortgage repayments whilst on benefits. I can’t thank you enough.”