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Payout expected for bad pensions advice

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers expects to win more than Pounds 2 million in compensation for members who received bad advice on their pension. The union has to date negotiated Pounds 150,915 (an average of Pounds 15, 091 per teacher) and has 130 further cases outstanding of teachers wrongly persuaded to leave the Teachers' Superannuation Scheme in favour of personal pension plans.

The individual sums of compensation range from Pounds 2,350 to Pounds 29,976. The first case last December resulted in Abbey Life reimbursing Jennifer Brown, of Dudley, West Midlands, Pounds 20,933 and led to her reinstatement to the TSS. In another case ATL member Sarah Hawkins recouped Pounds 13,200 and had her pension readjusted after bad advice by Teachers' Assurance.

Four out of five of the 140 cases concern women who were persuaded that they had a pension shortfall because of time spent raising a family. The union wrote to the Securities and Investment Board demanding tough action against companies who had given erroneous pensions advice. This week the SIB issued a damning report into the widespread mis-selling of personal pensions since the Government made their promotion possible in 1988. The board has ordered the companies concerned to examine the files of at least 360,000 people.

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