Are You Monitoring Your Pension Account?

Since the Pension Act 2004, many workers are still at a loss about their future, especially in relation to pension. Pension is a steady income given to a peron, usuallly after retirement or the payments a person recieves upon retirment, usually under pre-determined legal terms. In the past, many pensioners died without receiving their pension, and others gave up completely onit because of the stress they had to go through waiting to collect the sum accruable. More often than not, the pensions were never paid, because it was a defined benefit scheme, solely borne by one part – the emloyer.

The new scheme, which is a defined contribution plan, provides for an individual account for each participant, and for benefits based solely on the amount contributed to the acount, plus or minus income gains, expenses and losses allocated to the account. Contributions are paid into an individual account for each member. Because of the shared responsibility, defined contribution plans have become more widespread all over the world in recent years, and are now the dominant form of plan in many countries. But in spite of the benefits, many workers are still not yet sure whether their future is secured under the new contriutory pension scheme.

One of the ways to ensure this right is for workers to demand a quarterly statement of their accounts. When I decided to pitch my retirement fund with Pensions Alliance, I made it mandatory that my statemtents were to be sent in as at when due. For the first six months, they sent in timely updates but after these probationary period, I stopped receiving any updates. One of the few things I did was to call up the customer service line and ask to speak with their manager because in situations like this, you need to speak with the decisio maker and not the person who carries out the decisions. I spoke with her and explained how wrong it was for an organization like thiers not to send in timely reports to its’clients, upon which she apologised and said they had actually been sending it to my organizations headoffice but I was not receiving it. To resolve this dilemma, I wrote a letter via email asking the organization to send my pension statement account to my email box. Since then I’ve been reciving timely updates and have a good grasp of the income my fund is generating.

The quarterly account should indicate the profits made during the period, through investment with your money. Contributors must demand for a quarterly statements of their pension accounts from the PFAs cos let’s face it, if you can ask for your bank statements, you can do the same with your monthly pension contributions.

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