To the day it has been a year that Natascha and I (plus 3 cats) have lived together in Graz, Austria. We have been through a lot; moving home, overcoming the official stupidity of paperwork when getting married and closing my Spanish bank account. Finally, time to relax, but NO ! Oh no, a UK government letter recently arrived asking me to contact a UK insurance company. What ? On phoning the company it seems I had a pension plan, not with them, but another insurance company whom they had taken over.
Then the stupidity began.
Security questions galore for MY protection. “Where were you living in 1989 ?” Heck, that was 10 house moves ago ! “Send us all your addresses from 1989 to today” WHAT ?
I must have spoken to her 3 or 4 times on the phone, sent a letter and a dozen emails. We were becoming friends ! But the same stupid security questions every time AND pushing for me to put my pension plan into something better. I wanted to cash it in.
For days the same security questions and pushiness, plus getting more information about me. I stuck to my guns to cash the plan in.
Eventually she sent me a form to cash the pension plan. She wanted my Austrian bank account details and told me that I would have to pay the UK tax on the amount.
I expected the money to be sent electronically, bank to bank, which would take about 3 working days max. But no, a week later I received a UK cheque AND the company had deducted about 20% UK tax. We immediately presented the cheque to my Austrian bank and off it went into the roller coaster of whatever banks do with cheques. A month has passed, no sign of the money in my account. At least another 2 weeks we were told.
As soon as the money is in my account I will be writing a Ralphie email and a half to that insurance company. Why ask for my bank details when sending a cheque and why say one thing and do another with the tax ? But, hey, doesn’t time fly when faced with such bureaucrazy ?
I love Natascha to bits and would never do what this boyfriend did when his girlfriend caught the bouquet (which means that she will be next to be married).
Cats ! Who’d have them ?
Ralph xox ❤
Cat photos taken by Natascha. This is the link to her blog.
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