Cold shower for windfall fever
Sunday 01 October 1995
But amid such lottery-style fever, here are some twists to look out for.
First, there might be fewer winners than thought - and you might not be one of them. The Alliance & Leicester deal has yet to be officially announced. Its structuring could make everyone a winner, or it could aim to exclude recent savers. And, because of the obscurities of building society regulations, it could throw up some oddities that raise questions of fairness.
Take Lloyds' recent takeover of the Cheltenham & Gloucester. Many high- street C&G savers of up to two years' standing were getting nothing. But they were still asked to vote for a deal that included payouts to investors who might have just opened offshore accounts - certainly carrying no voting rights - and who might never have stepped inside a C&G branch.
Second, a windfall may not be worth as much as it seems. Long-suffering endowment policyholders with Provident Mutual will welcome the news of bonuses from the takeover by General Accident. But they should watch that other bonuses meant to reflect investment performance are not reduced.
Third, windfall taxes on bogeymen utilities are no "pain-free" tax. Quite the contrary. One obvious set of people who stand to suffer are the millions of private investors who are shareholders in these companies - and often shareholders in little else.
PERSONAL pensions salesmen became notorious some years ago for the lengths they would go to find sales. There were stories about sneaking into nurses' hostels and targeting redundant workers at dole offices. Now those salesmen's companies are being forced to review more than a million cases of alleged misselling, particularly people persuaded to leave safer employer-based pension schemes.
Trouble is, it turns out the likes of the Prudential and Legal & General are having problems finding those policy-holders. Up to a half have not replied to letters supposed to have gone out from the pension companies. It would be easy to blame this on companies' incompetence or note that it's not really in their interests to contact the policyholders. But part of the problem lies with the individuals, who have not replied or have moved and not passed on details. If you are reading this and you're a personal pension-plan holder, get in touch with your pension company. They should be able to confirm if you're affected and, even if you are not, get them to produce a written account of everything you've paid in and a reconciliation of the investment returns.
YOU may have noticed a new picture heading this column. The new personal finance editor is not rich. But I'd like my savings to make me richer. I don't like being ripped off and I want to understand what I'm buying. That's me and finance. It's also the aim of this Independent on Sunday section, Your Money. Letters are welcome, but don't send anything you want returned. We'll try to answer questions in these pages, but we can't reply individually.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...