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Error in Pensions Actuary Report

Posted by PeterG 
Error in Pensions Actuary Report
May 12, 2021 12:22AM
My wife and I have recently reached a proposed Pension share Order to achieve a 50/50 split.
My solicitor recommended that an Actuary was employed in order to calculate the estimated annual Pension from our variious Pension Funds at age 60 and 65.

I since discovered an error in the Actuary report which gave an over estimation of the likely annual Pension I would receive from a former Emploer at age 60 which is later this year, and also at 65 if I delayed my Pension withdrawal for five years.
The Pension was that from a former Civil service Employment where I worked for seven years before I was married and was over 30 years ago.

When the Actuary report was produced in January I was pleasantly surprised by how much the Pension would provide me at 60.
However it was a lot more than I expected, having received regular annual statements from the former employer of which both the Actuary and my solicitor had acces to. I did question this with my solicitor but he assured me that he had read the report and was satisfied with the annual projections. I had my doubts but could only accept his expertise in this matter. I am no expert on Pensions.

As it happens my former employer has just written to me advising that my annual Pension at 60 later this year will be £1700 per year.
The Actuary report had estimated £5,000 per year.
I have now queried this with the Actuary who has replied stating that they have little knowledge of this particular type of Pension but agreed that there was a discrepancy and they would provide a new report free of charge.

Well the reality is that if I had been a year younger, this would not have come to light for about six months after the Consent Order had been agreed and signed.
In the meantime I would have unnecessarily transferred about £60k from the Cash Equivalent of my other Pension Funds to my wife.

Fortunately, pending the new report from the Actuary, it is likely I will save that amount for myself and the Pensions will still be shared 50/50.

All this has delayed the Consent Order along with other matters, which is costing me and is to my detriment.

I consider this a very serious error and negligence.

Would I be justified in refusing to pay my solicitor for their extra costs in reviewing the revised Actuary report and re-producing an amended Pension Share Order, and of course all the emails and phones calls I have made to them querying this matter.

In fact I have lost confidence in the entire Actuary report and should perhaps suggest it is carried out by another firm at no cost to either myself or my wife?

I would welcome your comments.
Re: Error in Pensions Actuary Report
May 12, 2021 11:05AM
>>Would I be justified in refusing to pay my solicitor for their extra costs in reviewing the revised Actuary report and re-producing an amended Pension Share Order, and of course all the emails and phones calls I have made to them querying this matter.

So far as I can see if any mistake has been made here it is by the actuary who seems to have acknowledged it. Solicitors are not actuaries. Your solicitor was following up your queries. It is hard to see why their time spent doing that should not be paid for.

>>In fact I have lost confidence in the entire Actuary report and should perhaps suggest it is carried out by another firm at no cost to either myself or my wife?

The actuary has said he will prepare another report free of charge. If you have a report carried out by another actuary who is going to pay for that? The new actuary would expect to be paid. If you can prove negligence then the original actuary could perhaps be made to pay but (a) that actuary has offered to prepare a new report free of charge so it can't be taken for granted that it would be regarded as reasonable to incur the additional costs of instructing another actuary and (b) to do that you would probably have to sue the actuary (or his insurers) and win. That is likely to be expensive litigation.

For what it is worth there has been no significant loss because the error, if there was one, was discovered before you entered into a consent order based upon it.
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