Nest told my terminally ill husband that his pension was lost

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When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, we decided to consolidate our various pensions so I would only have one provider to deal with after his death. Since December, he’s been trying to transfer a pension pot from Phoenix Life to Nest. Nest confirmed it had contacted Phoenix, but that, frighteningly, Phoenix had no record of his policy. He resent the information to Nest, but it again said Phoenix had no record. Phoenix in turn denies receiving any requests and requires us to prove they had been made. My husband’s aggressive cancer has given him little time to get his affairs in order, and this is his final act to try and care for me. But there’s been not a shred of empathy nor inclination to help.
JB, Nottingham

Before I could intervene, your husband’s policies were finally identified and the transfer completed. Both companies continued to blame each other for the three-month ordeal, and you still wanted answers as to why you had been caused such needless anguish. Thus began another month-long saga. Nest insisted it provided Phoenix with the necessary information in December and January. Phoenix claimed both contained incorrect information, so were rejected.

In the meantime, your husband sadly died, so I tried again to wrest the facts from both companies and got them to communicate directly with each other. Only then, after five weeks’ toing and froing, did Nest discover it was at fault all along. Staff had sent the two transfer requests to the wrong provider within the Phoenix group. Phoenix provided correct details but Nest failed to resubmit the request. Instead, Nest wrote to your husband, less than three weeks before his death, to inform him Phoenix had no record of his pension policy.

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It was Phoenix which, after you called it and explained the circumstances, contacted Nest and urged it to make the request. The funds were transferred five days later.

Nest has pledged to offer appropriate compensation. David Barnes, Nest’s director of scheme operations, says: “We are deeply sorry for the distress this has caused and share our apologies unreservedly; this was the result of human error in our back-office team. It falls far short of the high standards of customer service we seek to provide. “Nest is an organisation which aims to listen and learn from its experiences with members. We’ll be working with our team to ensure this does not happen again.”

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