There are numerous options if you have been mis-sold a pension. You could contact the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Pensions Ombudsman. These are the bodies that will formally investigate your complaints and make an unbiased ruling.
However, there is certain information they will require when pursuing a complaint.
We will now take a look at the subject template that you will need to use when contacting either of the ombudsmen. It is also worth noting that you can also utilise the services of a claims management company to pursue your claim.
The more information you can give the ombudsman at the beginning of the process, the more chance of a successful outcome.
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We update all our guides regularly. If you are researching pension fraud and we haven’t got an exact guide that helps you, keep coming back as we update daily.
What Information Is Required for a Mis-Sold Pensions Letter?
The evidence required will vary from case to case, but there are a number of common themes. Some of the specific information required includes:-
Details of Your Pension Fund
There are different procedures for different types of a pension fund. Therefore, information regarding the set-up of your pension fund is very important. In the past, some complaints have been the result of misunderstandings between various parties.
However, that in itself could be treated as negligence and open the door to compensation.
Mis Sold Pension compensation pay-outs where £40m in 2018 and likely to grow substantially over the next decade according to the FSCS.
Your Relationship With the Adviser
When it comes to pension schemes, you will often find that inappropriate/incorrect advice doesn’t materialize until years down the line. Indeed, it may be that upon retirement, you’re not faced with the level of income you were promised.
This is why it is very important to maintain your own records regarding advice over the years – who gave it and when.
Details of Your Complaint
This section of your letter, the details of your complaint, and the background are extremely important. This will direct the ombudsman to the correct areas of investigation and assist in discovering the truth.
In some cases, the adviser may have acted perfectly appropriately, while in other cases, this may not be the case. Some of the more common complaints include:-
Failure to Explain Fees/Charges
When you consider that some pension funds may be in existence for more than 50 years, fees and charges can make a huge difference to the end result. Recent regulations introduced a greater degree of transparency regarding fees and charges to that seen in years gone by.
As a regulated adviser, failure to disclose an agreement with a third party, which may involve commission, would not be looked on favorably by the regulator/ombudsman.
Misleading Predictions for Fund Total
Unfortunately, we have seen numerous occasions where individuals have been “promised” a particular outcome for their pension fund on retirement. Very often, this will lead to hopes of repaying an outstanding mortgage or other debts.
We only need to look back at the endowment policy scandal to see what kind of impact this can have on everyday families. If you have been misled with regards to predictions about the future value of your pension fund, this could form the basis for a very strong complaint.
Failure to Disclose Pension Fund Particulars
There are numerous restrictions and options available with different pension funds. For example, a defined benefit scheme offers a guaranteed income in later life, based upon your final salary. There is a legal stipulation in the financial regulations regarding the transfer of defined benefit schemes.
If they are valued over £30,000 and being transferred to another defined benefit scheme/defined contribution scheme, advice will be required. There is a lot to consider! All financial advisers are legally obliged to act in the best interests of their clients.
Failure to Assess Your Overall Finances
Unfortunately, this is one of the more common complaints. When looking at an individual’s pension investments, these should be considered as part of the individual’s overall financial scenario. Looking at different types of investments, such as pensions, savings, stock market investments, or insurance policies in isolation, can be dangerous.
For example, if you received a significant pay rise but were solely focusing upon your pension fund, you may be advised to increase your contributions. However, if this is set against significant high-interest debts such as personal loans/credit cards, the situation is not so straightforward.
So, if your pension adviser failed to assess your overall finances (often referred to as Know Your Client), you may well have the basis for a significant compensation claim.
Do I Need to Use a Claims Management Company?
No, is the simple answer. There is the Financial Ombudsman Service and The Pensions Ombudsman that can take on a formal complaint. Sometimes it can be difficult when trying to highlight the exact issues and also providing suitable evidence.
The ombudsman would only investigate your specific complaint, which may not necessarily alert them to other issues. This is where claims management companies, many with decades of experience, can prove priceless.
How Do I Appoint a Claims Management Company?
The first thing to do is gather as much evidence as possible regarding your complaint and your dealings with the adviser in question. Then approach a claims management company and ask them to review your claim and supporting evidence.
If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer to take on your case. Traditionally, this would be on a “no-win, no fee” basis, which would indemnify you against any costs incurred as a consequence of pursuing your case.
In exchange, the claims management company would look to secure a success fee. This is a share of any compensation awarded and is traditionally around 25%.
How Long Does It Take to Pursue a Mis-Sold Pensions Complaint?
There is no fixed timescale when it comes to any type of personal injury or pension-related complaint. However, the more information you can provide to your claims management company/ombudsman, the greater your chances of success.
There is an EU directive regarding complaints procedure, suggesting all complaints should be completed within 90 days. While the majority may be completed within this timescale, there are a significant number that can go on for many months, if not years.
Is There a Timescale for Claiming Compensation for Mis-Sold Pensions?
Yes. There are two timescales to take into consideration the six-year window of opportunity from the day you received the advice. Then there is the three-year window of opportunity, from the date it was confirmed the advice was misleading/inappropriate.
Due to the very nature of pension funds, there are numerous occasions where confirmation of inappropriate advice does not materialize until many years down the line. Therefore, there is a degree of flexibility with regards to the pension complaints procedure as with other areas of personal injuries/financial complaints.
One word which crops up time and time again with regards to financial complaints is “complexity.” While there are formal complaint procedures that individuals can pursue in their own right, it is important to present the right information in the right format.
As a consequence, more and more people are now using the services of claims management companies. The main crux of any compensation award would be to right any financial wrongs as a consequence of the advice given.
Quick Mis-Sold Pension FAQs
Many UK pension customers have lost money after investing in burial plot schemes. Compensation claims can be made, but they aren’t straight forward – it will depend on the initial advice you were given and whether it can be argued it was bad advice.
One of the most prominent cases of mis-sold pension investments for UK customers in the last few years is that of The Resort Group. This offered customers the chance to invest in a holiday property in Cape Verde – primarily the Llana Beach Hotel and the Dunas Beach Resort. The promised potential returns were outstanding – up to 10% a year. But this should’ve simply served as a red flag.
The Germany Property Group is an unregulated property investment scheme. That means that it’s a scheme you can choose to invest your pension fund in but, as it is unregulated, you are doing so at your own risk.
A SIPP is a Self-Invested Personal Pension. As with all pensions, there is some potential for SIPP products to be mis-sold. Victims of SIPP pension scams can report them and claim compensation.
If you’ve received bad pension advice, you could be entitled to compensation of up to £85,000. You’ll claim this from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if you’re eligible. You’ll need to make a claim for bad pension advice you’ve received.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Mis-Sold Pension Claim?
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Financial Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for a mis-sold pension and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.