Questions of Cash: March 2015

Q. I worked for the civil service for eight years during the 1970s, entitling me to a small civil service pension payable from my 60th birthday in August last year.  The previous pensions administrator was Capita and I contacted them in 2011, several years before the pension was due.  Capita tracked down my pension details and provided me with an illustration of the pension I would get. I completed a form to commute my lump sum payment to increase my pension. I was told to contact them three months before my 60th birthday to kick off the process to get my pension paid on time.  I did this in May last year, but then it went quiet despite several attempts to get a response.  In September I received a letter informing me that civil service pensions were now administered in-house by MyCSP [My Civil Service Pension].  I contacted MyCSP, providing copies of the emails. After several more emails I finally received a response in December 2014 telling me that the MyCSP “high priority escalations team” were dealing with my case. Then nothing. Since then I have sent several emails, but not received one response. I have also contacted MyCSP three times directly by phone and, after 30 minutes or more in a queue, been told each time that someone had just started looking at my case.  My pension is now six months overdue and there appears to be nothing I can do to get MyCSP to move things forward or even to have the good manners to respond to my correspondence. Googling “problems with MyCSP” shows that, unfortunately, my case is not unique.  SF, Hampshire.

A.  We raised this with MyCSP.  Its spokeswoman responded: “Understandably we are unable to comment on individuals’ cases due to Data Protection legislation. However, I can confirm that MyCSP took over the administration for pensioners and deferred members in mid-September. At the time 1.1 million letters were sent to scheme members informing them of the transfer of administration. As a result, MyCSP received an extremely high number of enquiries leading to understandable frustration from members as we couldn’t respond as quickly as we would have liked.  We would encourage any concerned member to check the scheme website for information. If members are still worried about their payments or records they can check with their employer’s HR department or contact MyCSP on 0300 123 6666 (+44 1903 835902 for those based overseas), or email, or write to us at MyCSP, PO Box 2017, Liverpool L69 2BU.”  You tell us: “All my clarification questions have now been answered and I am expecting a written breakdown as to how my pension has been calculated.  I have now received my first civil service pension payment and a lump sum has also been paid to cover the late/missed six months of payments.  I believe that it was only through the intervention of the Independent that MyCSP finally did their job.”

Q  I have used Skype for many years and my laptop automatically connected me to the service.  My laptop recently stopped doing that and required me to enter my password – which I could no longer remember.  I filled-out Skype’s online form to change the password, but this required the card number I used when I opened the account – which I no longer use.  I had to go through several years’ financial records to find this.  I was then able to access my account – and found that details Skype asked for to verify my account I had never actually provided before and so was of no help!  MD, Chichester.

A. A spokeswoman for Skype responds: “The easiest way to retrieve a Skype password is for a user to enter their email address at and a password recovery token will be provided that enables them to log in to their Skype account.”

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