A cu­ri­ous tale of mis­taken iden­tity

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I worked for the In­land Rev­enue for 12 years dur­ing the Seven­ties and Eight­ies and was en­ti­tled to a small Civil Ser­vice pen­sion.

Then, fol­low­ing my fa­ther’s death, I did not work for five months but started a part-time job af­ter that.

I have been try­ing for al­most a year to ob­tain a tax re­bate of £167 and have been vainly go­ing around in cir­cles be­tween the pen­sion ad­min­is­tra­tors and HMRC. SM, ISLE OF WIGHT

Things had started to go wrong in 2013 when an­other per­son with the same name, al­beit not the same mid­dle one – and, even cu­ri­ouser, the same date of birth – no­ti­fied the pre­vi­ous pen­sion ad­min­is­tra­tor of a change of ad­dress.

Your sur­name, in­ci­den­tally, is fairly un­com­mon. The ad­dress was then ac­ci­den­tally at­tached to your pen­sion record in­stead of hers. Then MyCSP took over the ad­min­is­tra­tion of some Civil Ser­vice pen­sions but not the pen­sion scheme the other per­son’s en­ti­tle­ment was with.

When you asked that your pen­sion should start to be paid, you were told that it was be­ing al­ready. You de­nied this and an ad­dress was quoted in a part of the coun­try you have never lived in.

It turned out that the other per­son had al­ready re­ceived the first month’s pay­ment. She will have filled in forms to get this. I un­der­stand she has never worked for the Civil Ser­vice. One won­ders what aber­ra­tion was go­ing on in her head. Lat­terly MyCSP has man­aged to get the over­paid sum back from her.

By the time the money was paid to you it was the next tax year. The tax al­lowances you could have used up ap­plied to the ear­lier one. Things would have been straight­for­ward had your pen­sion been paid on time.

A three-way cor­re­spon­dence en­sued

Many read­ers com­plain that the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that are keen to take their money are less will­ing to an­swer le­git­i­mate ques­tions.

be­tween your­self, MyCSP and HMRC, to no avail. So you came to me.

Armed with all the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion you needed to claim a re­fund via HMRC, you did that. When the money came it was slightly more than ex­pected, pre­sum­ably be­cause some in­ter­est was added on.

A spokesman for MyCSP said: “New pen­sion pay­ment tech­nol­ogy was in­tro­duced to en­sure that mem­bers re­ceive their cor­rect pen­sion en­ti­tle­ment.

“Ad­di­tion­ally we have es­tab­lished ded­i­cated teams which spe­cialise in re­solv­ing his­toric is­sues which are of­ten more com­plex and re­quire in­depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

I don’t think many can be as strange as this.

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