Across the United Kingdom, millions of people are regularly given bad pension advice which leads to a bad pension transaction. Ultimately, this leaves millions of people in financial hardship as they approach retirement. In fact, statistics from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) reveal that mis-sold pensions in 2018 led to compensation payouts of more than £40m.
If you’ve fallen victim to pension mis-selling, you’ll understandably be at your wit’s end. However, you’ll be glad to hear that we can help. Continue reading to find out how.
What is poor pension advice?
The first thing you need to do if you suspect you’ve been mis-sold a pension product is to be absolutely clear about it. To know whether or not you’ve been mis-sold, you need to spot the signs so that you can eventually make a bad pension advice claim. There are five main signs that you should keep in mind.
1. You weren’t told about any of the risks
If your pensions adviser didn’t discuss the many risks involved in a pension transfer or any other process which requires you to transfer a safe workplace pension to an alternative, then you were probably mis-sold to.
2. Your adviser isn’t as experienced as you thought
If, after talking with a pensions adviser, you check their credentials and it turns out they’re far less experienced than they made out – you may have been mis-sold to. You need to take advice from a trusted, experienced, and qualified adviser – if they lack the proper credentials then you might have been mis-sold to.
3. The adviser didn’t tell you about the fees involved
With many cases of pension mis-selling, the adviser receives a commission once the transaction has been completed (and usually it’s quite a hefty commission). This is one of the reasons why they won’t tell you about any fees involved in pension product transactions.
4. Your adviser told you to transfer your pension from a workplace pension
One of the surest signs of pension mis-selling is if an adviser tells you to transfer the safe, guaranteed and steady income of a workplace pension into an alternative that is probably a lot harder to predict (in terms of guaranteed returns). This is almost always a questionable decision to make – even for seasoned, savvy investors.
5. The terms and conditions weren’t explained
In many pension products and transactions, there can be any number of loopholes and small print that(as inconspicuous as they might seem) can directly affect your finances. If your pensions adviser doesn’t make the terms and conditions clear to you, then you might have been mis-sold to.
There’s more information about spotting a mis-sold pension here.
Have you transferred your final salary pension after bad financial advice?
In most cases, transferring your final salary pension into an alternative pension scheme (like a SIPP) is not going to leave you in a better financial position. It’s a certain sign of bad pension transfer advice. Most alternative pension investment schemes are best reserved for experienced investors happy to accept all kinds of risk. For the average layperson, swapping the security of an occupational final salary pension for something riskier is a no-no.
Of course, all this may be too late if you have already transferred your pension. If you have made the transfer but you already have regrets about your choice, take a look at the above guidance to see if you have been mis-sold.
If you feel you have been mis-sold to, get in touch using our quick enquiry form. It takes just 30 seconds to complete but could make a lifetime’s difference. In the meantime, read our blog ‘Should you transfer your final salary pension into a SIPP’ for further guidance.
You may also find the following blogs of interest. They will help you defend yourself against bad financial advice. With our resources, you may regain the confidence to claim compensation for bad financial advice.
- What makes a reliable SIPP provider?
- 10 of the biggest financial scams of the last 10 years
- Spot the signs of pension fund mismanagement
- A step-by-step guide for after you’ve been a victim of financial mis-selling
- Can I claim compensation for bad financial advice?
Have you received bad financial SIPP advice?
Assisting with SIPP claims is a huge part of our service, partly because they’ve become such an issue for the industry. SIPPs came from a desire for investment flexibility, but it went too far the other way as inexperienced investors started to unknowingly gamble away their retirement money.
We mentioned much of this above, and our website has plenty of resources that speak to the risks of SIPPs. The main concern is that SIPPs are too risky for many inexperienced investors. Bad SIPP advice can generally be boiled down to a combination of the following negligences: your financial advisor doesn’t make you aware of the risks of SIPPs (e.g they’re subject to stock market fluctuations), your financial advisor doesn’t tell you about the costs and fees involved in SIPPs (they’re often expensive), and your financial advisor doesn’t offer you any support/guidance when it comes to investing.
SIPPs are high-risk investments, so if you feel uncomfortable about transferring your pension into a SIPP then you need to confront your feelings and reconsider your decision. If it’s too late, continue reading and get in touch with our team. All you need to do is call 0800 849 5078 or 0161 968 0768 and a member of our expert team will help.
What’s next? Claim compensation for bad pension advice
Once you’ve outlined how you were mis-sold, and it’s clear that you were mis-sold to, you’ll now be able to claim. Each claim is different, however, each claim will have (at least) one or more of the signs we’ve described above.
Use our enquiry form (it can be found anywhere on our website and can be completed in just 30 seconds) and we will send you a claims pack to complete and return to us. Once we’ve received your documents, you have 14 days to cancel your claim if you want to.
From there, we then contact your pension provider/adviser who then has 40 days to send us your file. We then review the file, and contact you if we need anything clarifying.
Then, if we see that you have a case for mis-selling, we submit the claim on your behalf. Your pension provider/advisor has 8 weeks to respond, and can apply for an extension of 2-4 weeks.
If your complaint is upheld by the provider/adviser, you will be paid your compensation. However, not all cases are upheld by those responsible for mis-selling. In cases like this, we pursue your case and present it to the Financial Ombudsman.
Your claim is in safe hands with us
Remember that each case is different, so how we choose to handle your case depends on the nature of what may have been mis-sold, and how severe your adviser’s violations were. For more information on claiming compensation for bad pension advice, visit our mis-sold pension compensation page. We’re also available to contact here (and in the meantime, be sure to visit our testimonials page to see what past clients thought about our services).