Salesman's patter proved persuasive

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The Independent Online
JACQUETTA Bath, a 33-year-old nurse, says she wishes she'd known more about pensions when she was approached by a salesman from a pensions company back in 1988, write Lea Paterson and Andrew Verity.

"Someone was talking to my husband about a pension and when the salesman had finished he turned to me and asked whether I had thought about changing schemes," she said.

Mrs Bath, a mother-of-two, had been a member of the NHS scheme since 1983. At the time, she did not realise her employer contributed to her occupational pension scheme. As a result, she found the salesman's patter extremely persuasive.

"He said his scheme was better and the fund would have grown bigger by the time I retired." Mrs Bath remembered being impressed by the fact she could continue to contribute to the company's scheme if she took a career break and if she decided to change employers.

Convinced she was doing the right thing, Mrs Bath switched into the private scheme in 1988. It was only a few years ago that she began to question the wisdom of her decision.

Her union put her in contact with the Personal Investment Authority, the pensions watchdog, which advised her to switch back to her occupational pension scheme. She stopped her payments to the company, and began contributing to the NHS scheme two years ago.

Mrs Bath is still waiting for compensation.