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To think that NHS pension scheme should not have the right to empty a bank account when they think they have overpaid?

(3 Posts)
cricketballs Sat 19-Mar-16 10:15:09

My DM passed away just before christmas. She had worked in the NHS for over 30 years before she retired. My DDad did everything by the book and informed them as soon as possible (after the bank holidays of christmas) and he received notification of them of how much he was entitled to from her pension.

He received a letter from them yesterday to say that they have overpaid him by £800 since the death notification and they are going to be collecting it in full from his bank account! On DSis and my advice he went the bank this morning to state that he does not give permission for them to access his account for this payment, to be told by the assistant manager that they do have authority as it is an overpayment!

We have advised him to write to them and offer a payment plan (which I will be doing later) but surely his bank account is his and he should be the one to give permission not just a free for all. He won't move money out as hes worried that direct debits etc won't get paid, and he is not IT savvy enough to do online banking (I want him to move his money out and just check daily for any direct debits and move money in to cover these)

Whilst it is an AIBU in terms of authority on his bank account; does anyone have any advise (remembering this is a 70 year old who struggles with email)

Kpo58 Sat 19-Mar-16 12:19:10

Definitely contact them ASAP (I suggest phoning before writing to them).

They should be able to put in a repayment plan for you. I'm surprised that you weren't sent a letter saying how much your Dad owes and ways to repay.

Its also worth checking if your Dad is entitled to a survivor's pension and whether the over-payment can be deducted from it.

MinistryofRevenge Sat 19-Mar-16 22:28:11

They can (but shouldn't) reduce or suspend the next payment(s) to recover the overpayment - it's an overpayment, they've spotted it fairly quickly, and they're entitled to ask for the money back. Generally a reasonable period of time for recovery of the overpayment would be the same period of time the overpayment was made - so over the next three or four months, I'm guessing.

They can't just dip into his bank account at random; if they do so, then your dad would be fully entitled to claim compensation from them for any losses he suffers (loss of interest, overdraft charges) and for his distress and inconvenience - the usual award for maladministration (which is what this would be) would be around the £300 to £500 mark.

In your shoes, I'd agree with PP that you should contact them and agree a payment plan. You might want to ask for a full breakdown of the overpayment first though, it's not unknown for mistakes to be made, and given this is likely to take you through a tax year end, then you'll need the information if it affects his tax liability.

flowers for your loss, OP. It's bad enough having to deal with the grief of your DM's death, without having to deal with threatening letters on top of it all.

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