Introduction About Site Map

XML
RSS 2 Feed RSS 2 Feed
Navigation

Main Page | Blog Index

Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Standard Life Profits From Facilitating Pension Fraud

In their own words (lies or contradictions included):

Standard Life fraud

Summary: After almost 40 days Standard Life finally gets back (in writing) to victims of the fraud at Sirius ‘Open Source’; the response is designed to help Standard Life “wash its hands” without actually tackling fraud committed in its name (and with documents produced by Standard Life, not forged)

HOURS after I prodded Standard Life by E-mail they finally got back to me (and others) with something more concrete. As expected, they did nothing to actually solve the problem and in the process they resorted to lying to us about the dates.

“I got response from standard life,” one former colleague told me.

“They have stated I can confirm Standard Life has administered a pension scheme for Sirius Corporation Plc from July 2009 until December 2012. Unfortunately, there is no record of you joining the scheme during that time and it would not have been possible to join after the Scheme closed in 2012.”

Notice the above. They just used templates. They barely investigated anything on an individual basis, yet in their PDF they made it seem like it was tailored to the recipient, including individual passwords. All they changed was the name of the person and maybe the case number.

My former colleague noticed a glaring anomaly in their narrative/story. “This seems to be slightly different to what you have been told,” the former colleague said, “as I think you said it was moved in 2018.”

“2016″ was said repeatedly to me by the manager, on several occasions. So either the above letter contains a lie or the managers lied to me repeatedly over the telephone.

Here is the message I received:

Dear Dr Schestowitz

I’ve completed my investigation of your concerns since I last contacted you on 29 March 2023. Thank you for your patience.

I’ve attached a letter which outlines our position [...]

If you have any questions, or you are having a problem accessing the letter, please let me know.

Yours sincerely

???????? ??????????????

Customer Relations

slcomplaints@standardlife.com

The name is in the image, but we don’t want that in text.

This is more like a cover-up, not an investigation. Did it take them almost 40 days to just run a search through a database? Really!?

Did they bother contacting authorities? Did they contact Sirius?

They sent the same thing to other victims in order to cover things up, talking like a lawyers’ department, looking to cover their own behind while solving nothing at all. If this is how pensions are managed in the UK (this is a very large provider), then we’re in serious trouble.

Notice that they are not saying there’s no crime, they just resort to the equivalent of “try another department” or “none of our business!”

As a reminder, I still have papers from Standard Life with my full name, date of birth, and account/scheme code/numbers on them. I still have countless payslips showing pension contributions were made. Standard Life cannot simply claim to have nothing to do with it; Standard Life basically legitimised a fraud. The perpetrators are still not held accountable. Two of them are in the UK and one is a fugitive in the United States, residing not far from Bill Gates, whom he took money from under an NDA.

When You Report a Crime to the Police (and You’re Not Very Rich and/or Famous)

Video download link | md5sum 8f727fe7c8e05b24b7df5efabd365817
The Police Ping-Pong
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

I recently became aware that money had been stolen from me. It was confirmed to me some days ago. I decided to report this to the authorities; failing to do so may result in any remaining money vanishing from the thieves’ account. The video above does not go into the details of the case (like this series about Sirius ‘Open Source’); instead it explains how the police handles the report.

Sadly, even in 2023 the police is looking for ‘low-grade’ thugs and people it can apprehend in the streets, not business people that it can arrest at their office. The police believes and trusts money. Culture is very much the same. “I saw X on TV, X is not in prison, hence X is probably innocent” is false logic when it comes to high-profile people, who rarely get arrested because they simply “own” the system and have expensive lawyers.

Cops are good at arresting poor people, whom they deem rather defenseless and easier to convict. But this leads to a sense of helplessness for victims of crime where the perpetrator is rich and powerful. Sometimes the cops are almost making them feel “guilty” for reporting white-collar crime because this “wastes time”; it’s not a simple physical job like arresting a person after forcibly knocking that person to the ground, based on nothing at all; I saw that done by a cop from my window just months ago… attacking an innocent bystander and then arresting him for apparently nothing. I wish I had this recorded. I wanted to report this (yes, reporting cops’ misbehaviour to the police itself), but I could not find suitable contacts.

My deep cynicism about cops isn’t new and it was the result of experiences that I covered here before. It ranges from tactless to truly irresponsible. For instance, their failure to despatch people to deal with an actual crime likely resulted in the perpetrators proceeding to yet more crimes. Basically they don’t help when it’s truly needed and I’ve experienced this firsthand, it’s not based on hearsay. This scenario is unacceptable; it’s very frustrating and disappointing because we pay them! We pay their salaries and their performance (or returns to us) does not seem to matter much.

In the above video what I have is the police (on the line) passing me from one person to another person and then the police asking me to phone the police. There’s also a barrier which serves to keep out the poor (no access to police) due to financial constraints. Think along the lines of, “too poor to report the crime”…

They’re taking advantage of that; they’re making poverty a curse and wealth a prerequisite for “access to cops”.

The crime that I reported to them is a real crime and not very outlandish. But this sort of scenario is not in the ‘script’, so they pass me on and on; passing from one colleague to another colleague is a hallmark of incompetence — the thing I experienced in the past. And just like cyberattacks 15+ years ago, these people don’t know what I’m talking about. They’re trained to just deal with very basic things; yes, they listen, but they do not actually solve crimes and punish the perpetrators.

What kind of system is this? Towards the end it feels like they convery a message like, “get off the line, you’re too poor to matter to us, your taxpayer-funded police is there to guard the rich and powerful” (and you’re not important enough).

We’re going round and round and they look for excuses to dismiss or redirect the report. For instance, they cannot refer me to the suitably-trained division (like they’re different “companies”). Why should I phone people in the City of London to report a trivial case of theft?

What if I was poor, confused, insecure, shy, confused/traumatised and barely literate? Being eloquent isn’t enough either, as confidence isn’t the same as wealth or “importance”.

Anyway, this time (for the first time) I documented my experience with the police in the form of audio.

It’s a problem not unique to the UK. As a friend reminded me this morning: “Louis Rossmann has started a series on trying to get some state agency to clarify or fix its records. The process goes beyond byzantine and is really more Kafkaesque. It’s not that the New York state is so clueless that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, the individual hands don’t even know themselves what they are doing. The recordings he provides are really strange and if they are in anyway representative of the population then the US has collapsed already…

Is NOW: Pensions a Scam?

Video download link | md5sum ee817ed1743c77954138a53082fbdbc1
Pension Providers That Lie
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Based on my own experience and a multi-month investigation (dealing with several pensions going back 12 years), pension funds in the UK are truly awful and definitely not trustworthy; colleagues too are receiving no replies to very simple enquiries and money just goes ‘missing’ with neither notification nor explanation, probably plundered by failing companies like Sirius ‘Open Source’ (which does not obey laws and keeps hiding)

THE video above is hopefully a good enough roundup of what’s happening or has been happening at Sirius ‘Open Source’ when it comes to pensions alone. We’ve been covering the subject every month since December and the latest is a whole mini-series about “Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate”. Earlier today we finally named one of the culprits (after months of frustrating lies) and the above plays a portion from a 26-minute phonecall (0:34-1:00, 7:06-7:40, 15:40 onward, 18:10-20:10, 21:05-25:03), basically skipping personal details, waiting time, and the duration they put me on hold (for over 8 minutes). The person who picked the call said he “spoke to a colleague of mine” and insisted that it “takes more investigation” or it’s “longer to process”. But it has been 20+ days since that call and his promise of letters within 5 working days wasn’t fulfilled. To make matters worse, I’ve contacted them by E-mail several times since then and they’re not even replying.

The conclusion of the series will be, no matter where you live and irrespective of how “reputable” a firm may be, if you have a pension you need to check that it is really there; either the employer or the pension providers can run away with the money without notifying anybody. Do not take anything for granted. Many of these things are like Ponzi schemes or scams. Compare to these, “bullshit jobs” are reasonably benign.

NOW: Pensions, the Pension Provider Chosen by Sirius After the Previous Pension Vanished, Has a History of Breaches

Facilitator of Fraud? There Is Already an Official Track Record of Misconduct.

NOW: Pensions logoSummary: There seems to be quite a crisis in British pension funds, which casualty ‘disappear’ funds and enable companies to plunder staff and former staff; in this series we focus on two such funds, one of which employs close to 10,000 people and covers very many companies (millions of people’s pensions)

Founded relatively recently (2011), the pension provider currently used by Sirius ‘Open Source’ has quite a colourful (and surprisingly short) past. It was moaning about the state of the economy in recent years (in public filings that we saw) and it probably struggles a lot. It’s a very small company, already sold to another due to difficulties, and its service has been truly appalling.

I cautioned them that I would take this public and name them unless things improved. It started in December and we’re in March already. It’s only getting worse. “Your repeated lies to me and your stonewalling have left me without any option but taking this public,” I said to them yesterday. “Rest assured many colleagues and clients of yours are reading this. Tomorrow I shall name your company in public and release telephone recordings to show your utterly poor record as a company, including the lies. This will be only the start.”

They didn’t respond. They never respond. I did this patiently and politely for months already. The above is an escalation in tone.

So who’s behind this company? Not many people and public records show a volatile board with many resignations. It was put up for sale 5 years ago or just over a year after Sirius had moved funds into it (after Sirius apparently silently plundered all the older pensions — the subject of further verification these days, maybe even an impeding class action lawsuit).

As it turns out, NOW: Pensions is considered dodgy; according to Wikipedia (after many edits, some of which controversial): “During the three years leading up to June 30, 2017 Now:Pensions achieved a 2.8 percent annualized return, which was significantly less than the returns achieved by almost all of its competitors during the same time.[1] In November 2017 the Pensions Regulator fined the trustees of Now:Pensions £50,000 for administration problems. Followed by a fine for £20,000 in February 2018.[1][2] In February 2019 The Cardano Group acquired Now:Pensions from ATP[3] after Now:Pensions ran into multiple administration problems and years of poor performance.[1]”

So they already got fined for breaches. Only less than a year before the fines Sirius chose this company. How come? And where did the money go?

I’ve already cautioned former colleagues about this and if this is representative of the state of the “pension industry”, then we’re all in deep quicksand and generally in trouble. Based on recent articles in the media, more and more people nowadays realise they’re affected.

In the case of NOW: Pensions, maybe they realise that some of the money that they possess is linked to fraudsters and they’d rather protect the fraudsters than do what’s right. We’ll release some audio soon.

Can’t Have Your Pension Now (and Don’t Even Talk to Us)

Pension letter 1

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has chosen rather questionable pension providers that ‘cover up’ for the company’s abusive behaviour

TODAY we resume the series not because of progress but due to a lack of progress. We set some deadlines or ultimatums and those have already been missed/exceeded by over a week. The short stories, as we shall tell them in the coming days, might not be applicable to all pension providers in the UK, only at least two of them — the ones I’ve dealt with personally for months already (as did former colleagues).

Before we share some audio of conversations (likely some time tomorrow or later this week) let’s just say that this is still an ongoing investigation. At least 2 people were saying they cannot find anything about me on their system. Upon escalation, however, a “Standard Life” supervisor or line manager or whatever (Leah Brown) said the pension had been transferred (why could her colleagues not see the name?) but still refused to give all sorts of critical information. This was done without any authorisation from those impacted and, yet worse, without even notifying them that it happened.

This investigation of ours follows some pension-related abuses at Sirius, as covered here back in December (we shared some letters too). It was escalated further in light of two revelations: 1) the older pension ‘vanished’. 2) the existing one is being elusive, the provider evasive, and those who phone to ask about it are being provided with only “template” responses.

At first, I had to submit complaints to them at least twice only to finally receive a phonecall (about 3 weeks late). At a later stage they sent out an E-mail:

Dear Roy,

Thank you for contacting [redacted].

Following on from our conversation on Friday the 6^th of January 2023, I can confirm your employer has now sent us over the contributions for October and November.

I’ve arranged for a contribution history to be sent to your home address within 10 working days.

If you need any more help, we have a new alternative way for you to make your request digitally. You can securely confirm your details and send your request to our team *here.*
[redacted]

We would also appreciate if you could click on the link below and let us know how we did today.

Kind Regards,

[redacted]

[redacted] Helpdesk

I then responded:

Dear [redacted] (or colleague),

There seems to be about 5000 pounds missing. The statement was received by post, but it lacks about 5 years of my pension — money passed to you from another provider back in 2016. Please phone us, as before, to clarify why the statement omits this. I’m on [redacted]

My reference number is [redacted]

Regards,

They never responded to this. They never followed up at all.

After a long while (maybe days) I said:

Please phone me and my wife ASAP. We both have pensions with you and it is a matter [that's] urgent because:
a) there seems to be a lot of “missing” money
b) the employer may be committing fraud
c) I am a whistleblower (see (b)), so they might try to retaliate

Regards,

PS – call me today, it is very urgent.

There were several more messages like this (about 5 in total, sent days apart).

They did not reply to this either. Days later I phoned them up and they lied to me. They gave false, empty assurances. I sent the following:

Hi,

Your handling of clients is totally irresponsible and completely unacceptable. You did not reply to any of my urgent E-mails (about 5 of them), so after a week I phoned you up, at my expense, and spoke for nearly an hour with [redacted]. He later spoke to my wife as well.

We both demanded written assurances that the former employer cannot plunder the pension like it did with our previous one. You said you would send us written assurances within 10 working days. Today we finally received two letters, but those are just balance statements (like a template reply) and nothing else. It’s a repeat of what you sent us before. It’s redundant. Nothing at all was written for us. In other words, [redacted] gave us false verbal assurances and you gave us nothing at all.

Hence, I hereby demand that you send us the money of our current balance (yes, I am aware of the very high taxes). Phone us immediately. We live nearby and will come to collect our money ASAP.

You failed us repeatedly. You failed numerous times. You gave false assurances. You moreover fail to heed our warning about an employer (your client) that plunders people’s pensions. This bodes well for the pension sector as a whole.

Please phone us now to arrange collection of our funds.

At this stage we already spoke to other victims; we suspected they had paid us salaries using our own money (our pensions) without telling us. Or maybe someone paid his mortgage using our pension money. Whatever it is, many people’s money seems to have gone “missing”.

I wrote to them again:

Hi [redacted],

My wife and I still wait for the letters you promised us. If we don’t hear back in the next day or so, we’ll take this public.

That was over a week ago. They just lied over the telephone (we have that recorded as proof) and they never responded to any E-mail. It’s as if their policy became, “do not speak to the client” (if the client phones us, lie to the client).

And we just got the phone bill 4 days ago. We paid almost 20 pounds for phonecalls (to just one pension provider, not even counting the other one).

A financial firm that kept lying or made false promises would typically not survive, would it?

Among the other expenses in the phone bill:

08 Feb
13:10
[redacted]
Calls to UK landlines
00:25:06
£5.94

27 Jan
09:20
[redacted]
Calls to UK landlines
00:45:53
£10.51

27 Jan
09:19
[redacted]
Calls to UK landlines
00:01:12
£0.46

This story isn’t over and it’s still an ongoing dispute. The other pension provider is even more scandalous, but we’ll cover that separately (some former colleagues are also “on the case”).

As one former colleague put it, “I was in the [redacted] one and got the weird e-mails saying some payments were missing but when I got a statement from them they had all been fixed” (or so we’re told; there are other issues).

The bottom line is, if you work for a company that has gone rogue and is acting ‘dodgy’ (British slang), then you might want to check what pension provider it chose and what happens ‘behind the scenes’. They may be arranging the looting of staff’s salaries (or partial wage theft) under the guise of “pension”.

Misusing ‘ISO’ to Abuse Your Staff

ISO perception; ISO reality

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has long used “ISO” — and sometimes “GDPR” — as catch-all excuses for all sorts of nonsensical policies; does ISO realise the degree to which it is being misused by incompetent ‘box tickers’?

“The ISO will basically standardize anything they’re paid to even if it’s impossible for anyone else to implement the standard, for any reason,” Ryan said in IRC yesterday. “They’re a corrupt group that will do anything for money.”

To make matters worse, ISO facilitated epic Microsoft corruption. ISO still enables crime. It didn’t seem to mind it or worry about it. It only worried about the impact on its image/reputation. The EPO‘s management also habitually uses “ISO” to distract from the EPO’s crimes. We covered several examples several years ago. “The ISO hoards “standards” and won’t let you read them for free,” Ryan said moments ago. “So on top of patents, things only Microsoft can implement, etc. There’s this. Unless you tore apart LAME’s source code and tried to write new documentation for MP3, you can’t share high level documents with anyone. I doubt that the paywall is a huge cash cow for them. You still can’t share the official MP3 specification. The source code to LAME or Helix are the specification you can see without ponying up almost $300 iirc for a specification that describes it at a high level. By looking at source code, you can’t clearly understand every part of it unambiguously unless you’re a Mentat or something. The developers of LAME buy the PDFs but how much revenue is five people buying PDFs? Or maybe a dozen people even?”

Here’s one example from Sirius: Nothing to do with ISO, yet “ISO” gets mentioned all the time — the go-to excuse for everything. Any terrible policy…. such as classic “bullshit jobs” (making lists of tickets aside from the ticketing system, for no actual purpose other than to keep us extra busy).

Skip to the bold bits for the ‘short’ story or the gist:

Ticket Review – This is priority and compulsory

——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: Re: Ticket Review – This is priority and compulsory
Date: Fri, 31 May 2019 12:45:09 +0100
From: xxxxx

xxxx,

Support is contracted to work 8 hours. This time should be used productively for the company’s requirements and business needs. And right now business needs this report from every shift to update the clients. We are also going through quality control for ISO purposes [Ed: emphasis ours]. This makes it even more important.

This is how your shift should really go:

1. Start shift
2. Read Handover
3. Respond to any emails
4. Ticket review
5. As and when new tickets are added to xxxx – enter these onto the relevant ticket review reports on the fileserver for each customer – whilst doing the ticket review, update if status has changed to either open – ongoing OR closed.6. Work on tickets/check monitoring etc for rest of your shift
7. Write detailed handover and send
8. Finish shift

It is not an unreasonable requirement from management.

If you have anymore issues email me directly or xxxx and do not cc anyone else as I don’t want a long email thread which is going to take focus away from objective.

Kind Regards,

xxxx

> xxxx wrote:
>
> I’m sorry you don’t want my input, but I think this is a very important point that needs making. The trouble is that I can’t see how this is going to improve the amount of tickets that we have open at the moment. What is needed is for each of us to actually work on the tickets.
>
> On 31-05-2019 11:35, xxxxx wrote:
>
>> Hi xxxx,
>> The status box requires open/ ongoing or closed. It doesn’t require details.
>> Please read my email again and follow instructions.
>> This is compulsory and required from each of you.
>> This really is not open for discussion.
>
> [...]
>
>> wrote:
>>
>> I understand. But it would be helpful for me if you would would
>> clarify what exactly is required by a Ticket Review. For me,
>> there’s no point writing largely irrelevant or obvious comments
>> at the bottom of each ticket. What is needed is to actually work
>> on each ticket and resolve it so it can be closed.

Well, that stopped getting done when they decommissioned our last server. So that clearly had nothing to do with “ISO”. The management lied to us and misused the “ISO” straw man.

Does ISO deserve to know this?

Another unqualified “manager” did the same with “GDPR”. To provide some context (2020 E-mails):

> Hi Roy,
>
> Why was this handover sent at 1:03 am – your shift is meant to be
> finished at 1:30 am.
>
> What is the reason for this?

Again, I think this is a misunderstanding. Check the past 8 years’ worth
of handovers at 1-1:30am. Look at the time pattern.

Did you send a similar message to all my NOC colleagues as well?

Regards,

She didn’t ‘get’ the message. I did nothing wrong at all. We all did the same thing even close to a decade earlier. She wrote:

Hi Roy,

Why did you leave your shift at 1:14 am (Tuesday 3rd March 2020)?
Your shift is meant to be until 1:30 am.
There was no prearranged time change request with management or request to leave 15 mins early in writing from you in our records.

I am concerned with this issue. Would you kindly clarify?

I responded again:

> Hi Roy,
>
> Thanks for your email.
>
> I raised these questions yesterday as I noticed that you said bye on
> your slack convo at 1:14 am (I have sent you a screen shot in previous
> email) that made me investigate further and I came across your handover
> times. Hence all these questions.
>
> We would request you to complete your full shift as prescribed and not
> leave early in future.

My handover times are not different from my colleagues’.

Can you explain further please?

Regards,

I responded yet again:

> Hi Roy,
>
> Why did you leave your shift at 1:14 am (Tuesday 3rd March 2020)?
> Your shift is meant to be until 1:30 am.
> There was no prearranged time change request with management or request
> to leave 15 mins early in writing from you in our records.
>
> I am concerned with this issue. Would you kindly clarify?

This is a very surprising message.

For the 9+ years I’ve been in the company we all (always) handed over at
1 to 1:30am, often leaving before 1:30. The above is not at all out of
the ordinary. For any of us…

Regards,

At this point, bearing in mind the previous year’s bullying by her, I kept a copy of the message as a reference (HR, hired by Sirius, advised me to keep copies of key correspondence due to perceived witch-hunts).

To quote the Office Manager on “GDPR” (message redacted a little):

Hi Roy,

When on the 3rd shift (17:30 – 01:30) your shift finishes at 01:30 not beforehand.

xxxx simply requested that you comply with your correct working hours as we could see on slack and your time tracker that you have not been working up until the end of your shift. This isn’t an unreasonable request and doesn’t need to be questioned, its quite simple, finish your shift on time.

I understand the handover being sent over between 01:00 – 01:30 as that allows the colleague next on shift the opportunity to read the handover and discuss anything with you.

On another note, if you can please keep these emails within the company – I can see you have responded/cc’d from your personal email. With GDPR being very important, I do not want any of our client/Sirius data being available on your personal email so its essential to keep work-related correspondence to work emails.

I hope this clears everything up for you.

Kind Regards,

xxxx

I also said:

>> Hi Roy,
>>
>> Thanks for your email.
>>
>> I raised these questions yesterday as I noticed that you said bye on
>> your slack convo at 1:14 am (I have sent you a screen shot in previous
>> email) that made me investigate further and I came across your handover
>> times. Hence all these questions.
>>
>> We would request you to complete your full shift as prescribed and not
>> leave early in future.
>
> My handover times are not different from my colleagues’.
>
> Can you explain further please?

I have received no reply for a day.

I am used to that.

This is not the first time I get unwarranted bollocking and it’s the
kind of thing that can drive away experienced and crucial colleagues
over time.

What I did wasn’t wrong; it doesn’t hurt to get an apology for trying to
shame me in front of the CEO for something I did which was not wrong.

Kind regards,

Of course she never bothered to apologise. She just vanished. Her sidekick had to audacity to say that slang like “bollocking” was rude, ignoring how rude the bullying was and instead focusing on style and choice of words (that British slang isn’t even rude, unlike “bullocks”). It should be noted that the bullying did not start and stop in 2019; it carried on well into 2020. The above example is one of several.

In summary, what we deal with here is two people bullying staff. They’re not qualified for any management role, but they seem to enjoy the ‘thrill’ of pretending that they are. It would become a more persistent problem as new imposters would attempt to cover up the company’s gross understaffing, e.g. a person without knowledge and ill-equipped or unequipped on the beat, pretending to cover a NOC shift or offer a service (that’s the CEO).

The company was lying to clients.

Remember that this is a company where there’s no chance at progression except through nepotism (like family/kinship and sex). At the moment it’s very hard to know what happens in the company, but that’s hardly different from how it was before, as a cabal was working behind the scenes and behind our backs, scheming to do all sorts of illegal things while lying to us (about who left, who was becoming a client and so on)

Sirius has a culture of extreme secrecy, even for insiders. Someone needs to show the ‘dirty laundry’.

In closing, to quote Ryan again (as other than Microsoft’s OOXML crimes there’s the MPEG cartel ISO controversy): “The ISO is still impeding LAME because someday they’ll lose all of the people who understand the code and then someone will have to fix it up to continue working. I’d argue that you almost can’t have standards with ISO. You have to publish them without ISO into the public domain to truly call them standards. People should get these Public Domain documents and decide whether it’s a standard themselves or not, like ZIP or Opus. You’ll notice they didn’t go to the ISO with Opus. They went to the IETF. The IETF standard, you can read. You can read every draft copy too so you know how it changed along the way if you care to. The ISO won’t give you drafts of a standard even if you pay so there’s no seeing how the process evolved. The ISO is probably even nasty in ways that I can’t fathom. But the ones that I know of are bad enough. FhG was not happy about LAME, I can tell you that much. Not happy at all. Even though it made MP3 hugely popular. They don’t acknowledge it even once on their Web site, even their little “MP3 History” museum, which I don’t even think mentions music piracy either. So that’s kind of like “Wikipedia-izing the History of MP3″. We’ll just gloss over Napster and LAME. Wasn’t important. Not gonna go how the format would have failed completely. We marketed it brilliantly and it was a hit out of the ballpark based on secret documents and patents, and ISO. Secret documents, patents, and ISO are in the way of progress, constantly, and the secret documents and ISO can be cut out of the process a lot easier than reforming the patent system.”

How about “ISO” being leveraged to lie to staff?

After More Than an Hour on the Phone, “Standard Life” Says Pension Was ‘Transferred’, Refuses to Give Any More Information (Money Gone ‘Missing’)

Speaking to pension schemes can be a massive waste of time. They are good at amassing people’s money and little other than that. Last week I spent over half an hour on the phone with Standard Life. They could not locate my pension! Nothing helped. They sent me to “Web sites” and I spent a weekend trying to find papers from 12 years ago. Now, with all the references and codes, they still say there is no record of those. Not my name, not the scheme number… nothing!

And they tried to send me astray to some “Web site”… as if that would work better than a person from the company on the phone, with full access to all the people and relevant systems. This is corporate greed in action.

Having spoken to 3 pension providers so far this month, I’m beyond appalled by the state of that industry, which the government blindly protects (to maintain ‘calm’). In its financial filings in Companies House, one such provider cautioned about its state in light of “COVID-19″ and “War in Ukraine”.

If myself, a tech-literate person, struggles to locate such things, then what about old people who don’t use technology and barely use the telephone? What about relatives of dead people, whose pension funds they don’t even know by name (or number)? The government’s pension tracker does not even work. I tried it about 4 times. It doesn’t even bring up a complete list of companies. This is incredible!

So my advice to all people, in the UK if not elsewhere too, call your pension provider to actually affirm the accounts are actually there as stated. Do not take anything for granted. Study the financial state of those schemes; in some countries it is publicly accessible for free, e.g. via Companies House in the UK.

The government can try to blame this on Russia or “an act of nature” (Wuhan virus), but the bottom line is, people’s economic lifelines aren’t safe and nobody in the media seems to be talking about it. Maybe they worry it would cause a panic and a run on the bank (or on pension schemes; people emptying their pension funds would open a whole new jar of worms, such as old people who suddenly lack a pension and rely on the government for food and heating… some already get called the “working poor” and rely on food banks).

The global system of finance is failing more and more people over time. The capital has been captured by the few.

I eventually found a “lead” (after more than half an hour spoken to a lady called Leah Brown at Standard Life). She suddenly could (unlike her colleagues) see the pension was moved to another provider in 2016. She did not, however, say which company did this and was very evasive about the whole thing, hoping to deflect to the Pension Regulator while acknowledging they almost never sent me any communications about anything. This seems to have become “normal”; they don’t inform people of anything.

In summary, they more or less lied to me about having nothing on their system about my account; upon escalation they suddenly knew the year of some change, less than 7 years ago (when you phone them up they say they retain the full audio of calls for up to 7 years, so why can’t they retain that much in actual records of pension schemes?).

To be continued…

Retrieval statistics: 21 queries taking a total of 0.161 seconds • Please report low bandwidth using the feedback form
Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
|— Proudly powered by W o r d P r e s s — based on a heavily-hacked version 1.2.1 (Mingus) installation —|