24 November 2018

Royal London calls on government to take action on power of attorney refund scheme as FOI shows millions left unclaimed

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A government scheme to refund large numbers of people who have been overcharged when registering a power of attorney has been criticised by mutual insurer Royal London.

Royal London calls on government to take action on power of attorney refund scheme as FOI shows millions left unclaimed.

According to figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act, out of 1.9m people who could be entitled, just 203,000 had claimed by 28 August with £10.3m being refunded. 

The refunds apply to powers of attorney registered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 in England and Wales.

However, according to the Annual Reports of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), 1.91m lasting and enduring powers of attorney were registered in the 2013/14 tax year through to 2016/17 tax year.

The reason for the refund is that during this time the OPG’s operating costs were reduced as more people applied to register a power of attorney and the process became more efficient. However, the application fee was not reduced until April 2017. Refunds must be claimed by 1 February 2021.

How much refund you get depends on when the fees were paid – see table below. If you paid a reduced fee then you will get half the refund. Interest of 0.5% will also be paid.

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When you paid the fee Refund for each power of attorney
April to September 2013 £54
October 2013 to March 2014 £34
April 2014 to March 2015 £37
April 2015 to March 2016 £38
April 2016 £45

Source: www.gov.uk

You can claim online https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund with refunds being paid out within 12 weeks.

 

Helen Morrissey, spokesperson at Royal London, said: “The refund option has been available for some time now and, as yet, only a small proportion of people have submitted a claim. The onus really is on the government to sort it out.   They should be contacting people who have not yet claimed a refund to make sure they get their money back”

  

- ENDS 

For further information please contact:

Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.