Pen­sion headache with Friends Life

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

I have a pol­icy with Friends Life that was due to ma­ture on my 75th birth­day, which was al­most two years ago.

At the time I was with fam­ily in the Falk­land Is­lands. I emailed Friends Life telling it that I wished to draw down the money due to me. Noth­ing hap­pened.

Sub­se­quently, Friends Life said it could not act on my re­quest as it did not have the rel­e­vant forms. They were, of course, in the UK.

I had ex­plained dur­ing ex­pen­sive calls from the Falk­lands that the forms would have been sent else­where, but Friends Life did not ac­knowl­edge such calls.

It then ap­peared that the com­pany was happy to ex­tend the draw­down pro­vi­sion to the fol­low­ing year. It re­quired a fi­nan­cial con­sul­tant to regis­ter with it. Sub­se­quently it said that the new dead­line had been missed.

On the ad­vice of my MP, I took the case to the Fi­nan­cial Om­buds­man Ser­vice. Friends Life in­formed the om­buds­man that the ap­pli­ca­tion for draw­down and for in­ves­ti­ga­tion by it were not pos­si­ble be­cause the dead­lines had ex­pired.

The only of­fer now from Friends Life is an an­nu­ity and no draw­down amount. Since I will need to live to at least the age of 105 to re­ceive the full amount of this pen­sion fund by an an­nu­ity

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