First published 25 April 2016
I was given Belinda Bell’s name to write to in Newcastle to explain the difficulties South African residents experienced when being contacted for certificates of existence to be returned within a certain time to avoid their pensions being stopped, in view of postal delays, and their apparent reluctance to use email, at least to send out the certificate even if an original is required in return. Although they appear well aware of the problem and are sympathetic to phone calls identifying the delay this does not help if their letter is not received by the due return date. One of my suggestions was that they schedule the dates when they require these certificates as this would surely make life much easier. However after some six months of communicating with Newcastle trying to resolve the matter I have just been contacted by ‘David’ in Wolverhampton who advises as follows:
Due to the ongoing postal difficulties in South Africa, we cancelled the Life Certificate Exercise to South Africa in November 2015, therefore payments should have continued as normal. If you have any payment problems or know of any other people with payment problems after that date, please call us or get the person involved to call us on 0044 191 2187777 and we will endeavour to help.
Our office opening times are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday
No indication was given as to how they will check the continuing existence of their pensioners. Perhaps interchange of information will be brought to bear. I have informed Norma at SOUTH AFRICAN EXPAT BRITISH PENSIONERS. I don’t follow her missives closely but hadn’t heard any mention of this.