Freeing Up Your Finances – A Guide To Pension Release and Reclaiming Packaged Bank Accounts

Have you noticed an increase in Facebook ads on your timelines for ‘Reclaiming packaged bank account charges’? We have! It seems to be the next big thing in claiming back unlawful charges, after the PPI charges. Our close friend, Chris Dando, owns one growing firm that specialise in a range of financial services. We’ve invited him to discuss some of his firms’ services today.

pig and poundsHi everyone. My company has a few different service lines, but basically serves 2 main channels: 1. Pension release and 2. Reclaiming back bank charges for packaged accounts.

So first let me explain about what pension release is, and our main website.

“My money! I need it now.” Congratulations, you’ve reached an age where your years of savings will start to pay off. Now it’s time for you to get an understanding of pension release, and what it means to you. You have looked at your pension pot and you like what you see, you’re ready to withdraw some money. Here are some things to keep in mind.

If you are 55 or older:

  • Lump sum
  • Annuity
  • Taxes

If you are under 55:

  • Tax Liabilities and/or penalties
  • Fees and/or commissions involved
  • Effect process on the remaining value

Is pension release right for me?

You’re 55 or over, haven’t reached the retirement age, and you’re thinking about digging into your pension pot.

It is highly recommended that you speak with your financial adviser or a qualified firm (like ours) before speaking to a pension release firm. A reason for that is, a regulated advice must follow certain rules and should only recommend a product suitable for you.

This will protect you if the product doesn’t happen to have your best interest at heart, or worse if the product itself was a scam made to lose your money and have someone else pocket your hard work.

If you’re under 55 there are still options for digging into your pension but keep in mind that because you have an agreement and you’re violating that agreement you’ll have to pay some liabilities and/or penalties for this action as high as 50-70% tax.

Early pension release

You may have seen it in a text, e-mail or even as a letter sent home, “pension release” promising a chance to take out a loan against your pension, and this maybe comes with fine print (or sometimes no print) that you will have a heavy tax bill of 50-70% of the withdraw.

Even if you claim to have had a misunderstanding or you were unaware you had broken tax rules, you offer to put the money back in your pension, you have paid fees to the company involved, or have spent all the money you have withdrawn; you will still have to pay tax.

While we understand that emergencies happen, before you decide to dig into the pension pot, keep in mind that going for an early pension release may be against your long-term financial interests.

What are my options?

You have some options for your pension release that you can consider; you can choose from annuity, big lump sum or small lump sums.

If your company has been around for a long time and you don’t see it going anywhere, on top of that your financially stable, then you would consider an annuity.

If that company is a little more on the fragile side, maybe in the auto or airline industry, you may want to think about lump sum where you can have full control of your money, and possibly invest some of it into an IRA. Find a financial adviser who will be able to handle this task and point you in the right direction. Or contact us at pensionsadviceuk.com

Reference:

http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/early-pension-release-liberation

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/pension-liberation

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/pension-release-or-pension-unlocking

Now, on to reclaiming packaged bank account fees!

A packaged bank account or otherwise known as ‘paid for account’ is a set-up account which users pay an annual fee to an account that includes various insurance products. Other common names that are used to refer to packaged accounts include; upgraded, gold, premium and reward. An ideal packaged account covers benefits such as travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, airport lounge privileges, special rates on loans and overdrafts, breakdown coverage and reduced prices on various products and services. Although at least 1 person in every 5 bank customers has a packaged bank account, many have complained of being automatically enrolled without consent. To make it worse, some customers do not even know that they have such an account while others are misguided into believing that paid for accounts are mandatory especially when accessing other benefits such as home mortgage.

Since the monthly fee of most packaged bank accounts ranges between £8 and £25, any non-authorized payment of similar rate can signify a mis-sold. Fortunately, it is possible to raise a complaint and reclaim packaged bank account. In a reclaim settlement, customers who have paid for a packaged account but have never enjoyed the benefits can get a refund. For instance, a £25 consistent payment for 4 years can accrue £1200 which can be reimbursed after a successful complaint.

Our company provides a specialist website on each of these unique claim packages, which you can view here:

To avoid confusion or any inconvenience, it is important to know the reasons which can stand to reclaim packaged accounts. For example, getting a breakdown cover whereas you do not own a car is pretty ludicrous. Other customers are unable to access any of the benefits due to individual situations such as age, residence and employment. Further, in some cases the accounts are upgraded without prior notification or the customer was informed that he/she could not cancel the account. Matter fact, there are other places where clients can obtain the benefits for a cheaper price.

The first step that customers should follow in case of a mis-sold account is to raise a complaint at the bank. However, account holders should not be dissuaded to drop the matter if the bank refuses to refund the accumulated fee. Some banks have a habit of making customers think that they do not have a valid claim. It is, therefore, important to keep persisting with a complaint even if the bank does not uphold the refund. If still the client is not satisfied or does not get a response within 8 weeks, the last resort should be to seek the services of financial authorities especially those that offer free services. Other claim firms charge a fee of up to 30 percent of the reclaimed fee. However, it is recommended to find a well-established firm that charges minimum commission.

Every successful refund should include a judicial interest policy. The interest rate is about 8 percent of the total reclaim per year. The basis of the flat rate is that the customer would likely have gained interest if the account funds had not been reduced. Hence, it is mandatory for a reclaim packaged bank account to include additional interest amount on the accumulated payment.

I hope this article was useful to you, and if you have any questions, drop us a line on any of the above websites. Make sure you check if you’re owed money for a PBA, as a lot of people don’t realise!!

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