Rainy Day - April Showers
In the world of weather, the three main drivers are temperature, pressure and humidity, with the general rule that the bigger the contrast, the more dramatic the resultant weather. Days in April can have a significant difference in temperature and hence the reason why April showers are most prevalent.
At TPAS, the weather also has a dramatic effect on our call volumes. Our highest call volumes are on a Monday morning together with a full “virtual” postbag from online enquiries. Our busiest months are January, February and March although we experienced very high volumes in April 2016. We also see a spike in activity on the Tuesday after a Bank Holiday and, if it is a rainy Bank Holiday, the spike is even bigger.
We are really pleased about the growth in the number of people who are contacting us. Over the last 3 years, we have seen the customers who contact us rise from around 80,000 to 200,000. But we also know this is only a fraction of the people who could benefit from assistance and guidance on their pensions.
One particular story really brings this into focus. A lady contacted us following her husband’s death. She had contacted the pension scheme from which her husband was receiving a widower’s pension in respect of his first wife only to discover that the pension should have stopped on remarriage. Her husband was aware of this but chose not to tell the pension fund. This meant that the lady owed a considerable amount of money to the scheme. To cut a long story short, there were a number of mitigating circumstances regarding the overpayments and after discussions with the lady and discussions with the pension scheme, the scheme decided to write off the repayments. The reason for telling this story is that I wonder how many people have tried to resolve the situation themselves without help.
The month of April can provide some great cloudscapes and a prevalence of rainbows. So take a moment to pause and look up at the sky and see what’s up there. And then look back at your filing box and pick up the phone to ask questions about your pension pots. To contact us direct, please call 0300 123 1047 (Monday to Friday, 9-5pm)