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AIBU to find the term 'trivial commutation' patronising?

(9 Posts)
SqueezedMiddleG Sun 18-Nov-18 20:25:52

My 91-year-old widowed mother currently receives a dependant's private pension of about £100 per month. She has just received a letter from her pension provider offering her a one-off lump sum under what is described as a 'triviality option'. The term 'trivial commutation' is the official financial term. The use of the words 'trivial' and 'triviality' in this context seems very patronising and insulting. For many pensioners, an additional £100 per month is anything but trivial. In fact it can make a big difference in their 'heating or eating' decision. Who coined this term? I expect it's the same sort of people who joke that their winter fuel payment helps to pay for a few bottles of wine at Christmas.

MissAdventure Sun 18-Nov-18 20:36:49

Well, its vaguely strange, but it wouldn't get me annoyed, really.
I would just take the money, however it was labelled.

Bridgeit Sun 18-Nov-18 20:45:01

Technically Correct definition but wrong connotation. Sounds awful doesn’t it.

M0nica Sun 18-Nov-18 20:55:02

It is a very carefully defined legal term used to define pension pots where the total capital sum is under £30,000.

There is absolutely nothing personal about the letter. The person who sent it does not know whether your mother is a multi millionaire or on pension credit.

Every profession has its special language and the legal and financial professions, in particular, do. Most of these words have very clear accepted definitions, for very obvious reasons.

Put the term 'trivial commutation' into google and see the huge number of government, tax and legal sites that come up.

It is not unusual for ordinary words to have very specific meanings, and very different meanings when used by one profession or another.

Just remember professional letters like this are not personal, and the sender knows nothing about the recipient.

Davidhs Sun 18-Nov-18 21:06:58

I have no idea about patronizing but Trivial Commutation is about cashing in a small pension, not getting an extra £100 a month.
Small pension pots ( under £30,000) cost a lot to administer and the companies want to wind them up by settling the whole lot in one lump sum. Your mother is 91 if she dies in a couple of years the residue of the pension may get forfeit, you need to check the terms of the policy.
However, at 91 I think I would take the cash and use it as I needed it, then when I did die it would be part of my estate for certain.

downtoearth Mon 19-Nov-18 08:40:28

I have been offered this for a small private pension,I am just awaiting information pack to arrive,the lump sum will come in handy right now.

Lynne59 Mon 19-Nov-18 09:28:17

The term is a legal one, nothing else. It's to do with receiving a proportion of a pension that was set up. Your mum is getting a bit of money each month, that's the main thing, isn't it?

Nonnie Mon 19-Nov-18 09:40:32

From what I have read and heard on consumer programmes you should be very careful about accepting such an offer. They are usually not to the benefit of the policy holder so please take advice. Maybe at 91 it is a good idea but youner people should be very, very careful.

Farmor15 Mon 19-Nov-18 09:46:13

As others have said, it’s a technical term like “elderly primagravida” for 1st time mother over 35 or senile warts for sebhorreic keratosis. I felt slightly put out when doc told me that’s what my raised brown skin patches were?