Questions Of Cash: 'Pension fund firm rejected my French documents'
Saturday 18 September 2010
Q. I am about to retire – my birthday is on 30 September – when my pension should start. I have a pension fund with Winterthur Life and applied to receive my pension. But it will not accept my French birth certificate as proof of age. I have explained to Winterthur that the French system is different from Britain's: original birth certificates are always kept in archives at the place of birth. This avoids such an important document being lost. No French citizen gets the original certificate: one sends for a copy whenever necessary and receives it promptly, free of charge. I have lived in England since 1972, have paid my taxes and been a good citizen. CC, by email.
A. Axa – which owns Wintherthur – confirms that it is company policy to require the original birth certificate, though it would also have accepted a current passport or driving licence in the absence of a British birth certificate. But given your circumstances, Axa has accepted a copy of your French birth certificate. It has now settled your policies and sent a tax-free lump sum direct to your bank account. It apologises for your inconvenience. It is reviewing its processing of applications to avoid similar problems being experienced by other customers.
Q. I have been told by Nottingham City Council that it is unsafe for me to use my home, because of a landslip on a neighbouring property. A prohibition order has been issued, instructing me to move out of my house. But my insurer, RSA, refuses to pay my costs for living in rented accommodation while the problem is sorted out. ZP, Nottingham.
A. RSA has now carried out a structural review of your property and concluded that your property is not structurally damaged. On this basis, you are not covered for your full rental costs while you are necessarily living in temporary accommodation. It has, though, now paid you £500 as a contribution towards these costs under the home emergency section of the policy. It seems that you will need to take legal action against the owners of the land that is slipping, to recover your costs from them. Your home insurance policy does include entitlement to free legal advice, but RSA tells us that this is limited to access to an advice line and excludes cover for the costs of legal action. We have also discussed your problem with Nottingham City Council, which advises that you seem to be the only owner-occupier who has had to move out. It is trying to identify the owners of the properties where the landslip has occurred and hopes to broker a solution in which your costs are recovered. However, it seems as if the total cost of resolving the landslip may be over £1m – which means that it could take several months, or longer, before the situation is resolved, you receive compensation and can return to your home.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Email us at: questionsofcash@ independent.co.uk.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Met Police confirm it was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Eccentric Fury star, 28, reveals he is 'not a really confident actor'
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell
Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home
Mark Dampier: Woodford’s young companies could be the stars of the future
Use the new pension freedoms to boost your retirement income
Money Insider: Help to Buy must be boosted by building
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 13-17 October
How to start your own internet business
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village