Julian Knight: My mum's PPI mis-selling payout leaves me jealous

Her compensation beats what she could have earned from the stock market or an ISA

I wish I had taken out payment- protection insurance (PPI). Yes, you read that right. I wish I had taken out payment-protection insurance. I almost did, in fact. In 2001 I took out a loan to buy a car with Alliance & Leicester – now part of Santander – and throughout the process the salespeople kept adding a PPI policy onto my monthly repayment figure. I phoned Alliance & Leicester three times and instructed them to take off the ppi as I had no need for it. This was a clear attempt at mis-selling and I was wise to it but wish I hadn't been. My regrets don't stem from the fact that I would have needed to claim, but from the fact that if I had allowed myself to be mis-sold, I would now be awaiting a hefty compensation cheque, just like the one winging its way to my mother.

She was mis-sold PPI by both the Halifax and the Co-op and in the first case – despite intrusive questioning – she has now received her compensation, which seems to be the premiums, plus interest paid on the premiums, topped up to the tune of 8 per cent per year. Because she chose to pursue the claim herself rather than through a claims-management firm, she will keep the lot and I have worked out that she has done better out of being mis-sold PPI than she could have done if she had invested the cash in the stock market or placed it into even the best-paying individual savings account. She deserves this of course and the banks are rightly being punished for it. Yet I can't help but feel a little jealous.

Pension liberation

Recently The Independent on Sunday investigated the sharks in the pension-liberation industry. Basically, these fly-by-night firms look to persuade people to deposit their pension with them in a high-risk, offshore-investment scheme with the dubious promise of being able to unlock some cash. Up to 90 per cent of the fund can disappear in charges and investment underperformance and on the whole they are a terrible and legally very dubious idea. Now, it seems, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) agrees, and following reports such as ours has announced a raft of measures to put an end to this consumer abuse. The Association of British Insurers is cock-a-hoop that HMRC is getting tough, so let's hope we now have some real, joined-up action between the taxman, the pensions funds and the wider public to put these schemes out to grass.

Sorry Stephanie

Last year, when Stephanie Flanders, the departing BBC economics editor, wrote that older workers were "bed-blocking" younger people I got angry. The main reason was that for years I had been urging employers to take a much-better attitude to older workers and to dispense with ageism in the workplace in order to sort out the pensions crisis (it is funny how I got more obsessed with it as my 40th birthday approached). Then we had the widely respected Ms Flanders saying that young people were being thwarted by the nation's older workers. I said this was counterproductive.

Now this week I have been reading a report on the European Labour Market for an organisation called the Conference Board, which clearly shows that Ms Flanders was right. Since the onset of the financial crisis the numbers of people still in the workforce across the EU has risen by nearly 4 million. This is simply because Europeans are staying at work longer rather than opting for early retirement. At the same time, youth unemployment is horrendous throughout much of the EU.

It seems Ms Flanders was correct, but overall we do still need people to stay at work longer and employers to be more open to older workers – genuine labour market flexibility up to the age of 70 if necessary.

In some ways the phrase bed-blocking misses the real point that the difficulties we face are actually getting to integrate young people into the workforce, particularly straight from university which in some cases doesn't equip youngsters well, while at the same time recognising that we need older people to be truly flexible. We still have a very long way to go on both counts.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...

    Guru Careers: Financial Controller

    £45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

    £12500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Adviser - OTE £24,500

    £22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'