Monday, 14 September 2009

Monday 14 September 2009

I'm going to be bald as a coot before long!  Honestly, if anyone was thinking about retiring, here's a word of advice:  DON'T.  I thought it was a straightforward transition from one condition to the other.  I was wrong. 

Bear this in mind - it's Keith who's retiring, not me.  He goes blissfully off to work while I sort it all out for him.

I never knew you have to apply for your state pension.  Did you know that?  I never did.  But you do.  What happens is they write to you 4 months before, inviting you to apply for your pension.  So the day after the letter arrived I rang them up.

"No no no, " they said, "TWO months dear, TWO."
"But the letter said........"
"Yes but we've changed the rules."
"So why send the letter now, then?"
"We've changed the rules.  Ring at the end of August."

So I did but "I can only discus this with MR Marshall,"  Ahhh-HA, I'd already thought of that and Keith was already waiting to give them permission to deal with me.  So he did, and they did.  But, you see, he could have been anyone, couldn't he?  I might have got the milkman to pop in for a minute, or the window cleaner!  I might have even put on a gruff voice and talked through my hanky.  Anyway, I told them what they wanted to know and they told me how much pension he would get and said a letter called "A Decision on your Claim" would arrive soon.  It did.  Cue the first form to send back.

Then the Inland Revenue sent a big fat letter which, after I'd read it through a few times, seemed to be saying that the Dept Works & Pensions letter had, in fact, told the truth.  Mind you, what it Seemed to be saying was that they would be taking away £22.58 each week.  Heart stopping moment there!

In the same post came a fat letter from a firm Keith was with for a few years a long time ago.  They said they would pay about £1600 a year.  Cue next form to send back.  Their form wanted to know details of all other pensions Keith had, or would have.  In fact they seemed to want to know rather a lot so I rang them to ask what business it was of theirs and that was when I first heard the term "Lifetime Allowance".  It's a government thing said the voice on the phone.  It's a government requirement and all your other pension providers will want this same information.  To this minute I haven't a clue what a "Lifetime Allowance" is but - out with all the paperwork again and away with their form.

Left to his own devices Keith wouldn't have known where to start.  All he wants to know between now and October 26th is how much is going in the bank and when but your guess is as good as mine what other personal information we shall have to divulge and to whom to get it.

Form-filling is a fact of life - we all know that - but for goodness sake WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PLAIN ENGLISH?

"Dear Sir,
This is to inform you that I shall not, after all, be requiring a numbered Swiss bank account.
Your etc.........."


Blessings each day said...

I loved this and you are, as always, adorable and a great writer!!

Such insanity and you handle it so well and treat them as if they were normal (maybe that's bad...maybe someone needs to tell them they are crazy...but no, they would never believe it).

Michael is the same way and yet they ALWAYS want to talk to MR. when it has his name on it and then they discover that he has no clue what is going on or what to ask!

I do hope you get it all sorted out and soon as the time is getting closer. You should get some sort of medal for this, Angie!

blessings and hugs,


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'll be going through all that next year trying to sort things out for my Social Security payments. That is what we get in the US. Some have retirements from where they work too and that is another set of forms. I'll be thinking of you when you did it.
I guess I'd rather fill out forms so I can retire than to not retire.

Hope yours gets all sorted around and Keith gets to retire in October as planned.

Andy said...

I can fully understand how you feel about all this palava. Spent nearly two hours on the phone the other day to the Department for Work and Pensions to see if I could claim any benefit as I have been off work for 6 months. Paper work arrived today riddled with errors and a note saying that if anything was wrong to ring them as they do not read letters. Tried to ring them about thirty times and every time I got a recorded message saying that they could not deal with my call asc all lines were busy----I felt like screaming!!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL hubby and I have learned early in our married life...dealing with the government of any kind is a long and tedious process...and usually in the is all wrong anyway retirement was pretty simple...but hubby had form after form to fill out...and I for one was glad he could do it...I am happy for Keith that he has you around to help him do it all...why do those folks think he has all the time in the world to talk to them on the phone when he is still working...not retired as yet...??? duh??? LOLOL...oh well...hang tough girl...God Bless...hugs...Ora

Marie said...

Oh Angie, I am dreading this exercise in the future. MIne will probably be complicated because of any Canadian pensions I should be receiving...dread the thought of all the forms and hassle I will have to go through! Keith is lucky to have you to deal with all of this for you! (I expect he already knows this!) I haven't forgotten my promise of the cd's I am just late getting everything done lately. No idea why. I send love and hugs sweet friend! xxoo

Grammy Staffy said...

I know what you mean. I just turned 65 and had to sign up for medical coverage that we call Medicare here in the states. What a pain!!! I have paid into medicare my whole working life but getting it back is enough to put you in the hospital....then on top of that...even though I've paid into it for over 25 years, I still have to pay them more. I now have to send them $94.00 a month for the rest of my life.

I wish Keith good luck. Retirement is great but getting it is a job all in itself. Love, Lura