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Mis-sold Pension Claims Guide – How To Claim For Mis sold Pension Compensation? Have You Been Scammed out of Your Pension?

Mis-sold Pension Claims Guide – How To Claim For Mis sold Pension Compensation? Have You Been Scammed out of Your Pension?

October 25, 2019 12:17 am1 comment
Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide

If you were mis-sold a pension, you should talk to a legal expert because even though the Financial Conduct Authority – FCA – requires that financial advisors offer suitable products to clients, pensions often get mis-sold.

Should this be the case, you could be entitled to claim mis-sold pension compensation and to find out more, please click on the links below:

Can I Claim Compensation For a Mis-sold Pension?

If you were mis-sold a pension by a financial institution whether a bank or independent financial adviser and it is found that you were offered misguided information which resulted in you being sold a wrong pension, the parties who sold you the package could receive hefty penalties.

There are stringent regulations and rules that financial services must adhere to when selling you a pension which includes the following:

  • That all the correct information relating to your needs is collected from you
  • That you are provided with all the options that may be available to you

This information pertaining to your circumstances should include the following:

  • Details relating to your health both current and historic. A medical report must be assessed which would be a key part of a process of selecting the right pension package for you
  • A financial adviser must ensure that you are given all the correct information so it allows you to come to the right decision when choosing a pension package
  • Should a package pose an especially risky investment, a financial adviser must warn you. Examples being when transferring a pension into a SIPP or SSAS, or carbon credits or investments into projects that involve property syndicates
  • You must be provided with a range of pension package options – a financial adviser must not influence you in any way when it comes to choosing a pension which could benefit them financially

The FCA code of practice for financial advisers is strict and if you are mis-sold a pension, you should contact a legal expert who would assess your case before offering essential advice on how best to proceed if they feel that your claim is strong enough to be successful.

The Definition of a Pension

A pension is intended to ensure that when you retire, you are able to live a comfortable life without financial stress. Most people contribute to a pension fund throughout their working life and when they change jobs, the fund is transferred to their employers. Should a pension or a pension transfer be mis-sold, it can negatively impact your pension fund when you do retire. You may even find that you have lost hundreds if not thousands of pounds because of a mis-sold pension.

What are Pension Annuities?

Pension annuities are different from “pensions” which are accrued over the period of your working life when you make small payments into a pot on  a regular basis. When you retire, the pension pot that you accrued over a number of years pays out an amount of money every year for you to live on.

However, when it comes to pension annuities, you buy them for a lump sum of money when you are about to retire. The annuity then pays out an annual payment every year until you die.

Would My Claim for Mis-sold Pension be Valid?

For a mis-sold pension compensation claim to be valid, you would need to provide sufficient evidence that you were given an incorrect pension or annuity by a financial adviser. Examples of mis-sold pensions include the following:

  • Pensions that were transferred to a SIPP – Self-invested Personal Pension Plan
  • Pensions or annuities that involved investments in risky projects involving properties whether in the UK or abroad, storage pods, car park schemes or carbon credits
  • You were offered incorrect advice to transfer your money out of a company’s pension scheme into a private one but a company scheme would have offered you a better financial return
  • You were pressured into making a decision without having been provided with a full range of product options and the advisor failed to provide full disclosure of any pitfalls and benefits each would have provided you with

If you believe you were mis-sold your pension, you should contact a legal expert who would determine whether this is so and if you would be eligible to file a compensation claim.

The Definition of Mis-sold Pension Annuities

It is your right to be able to evaluate as many pension annuity packages as you want with an end goal being able to choose the one that is best suited to your own specific needs. You should not be limited to just the annuity schemes that a single financial adviser’s company has to offer. Being able to shop around for the right pension annuity allows you to find one that could offer you a much better financial return during your retirement. It is a legal requirement for a pension firm to let you know that this is an option when you are searching for a pension annuity.

Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide

A firm that sells pension annuities must also let you know if you were be entitled to any sort of “enhanced annuity” and if they fail to do so, you may be able to file a mis-sold pension annuity compensation claim against them.

Was My Pension or My Pension Annuity Mis-sold?

There is a checklist that you can refer to when evaluating whether you were mis-sold either a pension or a pension annuity. If any of the following apply to you, then you may be able to file a mis-sold pension or pension annuity compensation claim:

  • A financial adviser did not request any information regarding your health and a medical condition you suffered from when you bought a pension or annuity from them
  • You were sold a pension or annuity that was not suitable to your needs
  • A financial adviser need not ask you any questions regarding your lifestyle, habits and whether you smoked or details of your alcohol consumption prior to you purchasing a pension or annuity from them
  • A financial adviser did not inform you of any other pensions or annuities other than those they offered you which could have produced a better financial return
  • You were advised to transfer a pension into a SIPP – Self-invested Personal Pension Plan
  • The scheme you were advised to use involved investing your pension or annuity in risky projects involving property syndicates, green oil, carbon credits or ethical forests etc
  • The financial adviser offered assistance in transferring your company pension into a private scheme but the company pension scheme would have provided better financial returns during your retirement
  • You receive less money from a pension or an annuity than the payments you made into it
  • You were pressured into coming to a quick decision which meant you did not have enough time to evaluate any other pension or annuity schemes which prevented you from finding the best deal to suit your specific needs

Should any of the above apply to how you were sold a pension or an annuity by a financial adviser, you may be eligible to file for compensation. As such, you should contact a legal expert who would assess your case before offering essential legal advice on whether you qualify for compensation or not.

Would an Annuity Taken Out Prior to July 2008 Be Valid if I Claim Mis-sold Pension Compensation?

If you bought a pension annuity prior to July 2008, the Financial Conduct Authority – FCA – does not review cases of mis-selling that occurred before they introduced their pension and annuity sales guidelines. With this said, you should still discuss your case with a legal expert because in some cases, you may be eligible to claim mis-sold pension or annuity compensation.  Once a solicitor has assessed you case and satisfied themselves that you can provide sufficient evidence to support a claim, they would typically offer you No Win No Fee terms when representing you on a mis-sold pension claim.

Would an Annuity Taken out After July 2008 Be Eligible for Compensation?

If you purchased your annuity after July 2008, and you believe the financial adviser mis-sold it to you, a solicitor would be able to evaluate whether you have a valid claim. As previously mentioned, the FCA set down strict rules and regulations that financial advisers must adhere to when selling any pensions or annuities. If a financial adviser is deemed to have breached any of the rules or regulations when they sold you a pension or an annuity, you would be able to file a mis-sold pension compensation claim.

A Pension Was Transferred to Me Following Their Death, Can I Claim Mis-sold Pension Compensation?

Should your partner have passed away and their pension or annuity was transferred to you but you believe that it was mis-sold, providing you can show good reason, your claim could be deemed valid. The reason being that even if the person who was mis-sold a pension or an annuity has passed away, it does not mean that the financial adviser cannot be pursued for any damages.

Should your deceased partner’s pension or their annuity have rolled into your own retirement funds negatively impacting it’s performance, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a mis-sold pension claim. As such, you should discuss your case with a solicitor before taking any action so they can provide essential legal advice on how best to proceed with a “third party claim”.

How Do I Start a Mis-sold Pension Compensation Claim?

Mis-sold pension claims can be complex and although it is possible to pursue a case on your own, it is far wiser to seek the advice of a legal expert before doing so. The reason being that this type of claim is fraught with pitfalls that could mean long, unnecessary delays or your claim being deemed invalid. With this said, there are things you can do in preparation to contacting a solicitor which includes the following:

  • Gather all relevant information regarding your pension or annuity which includes all the details and evidence that could indicated that the financial adviser mis-sold a package to you
  • Should you have held a company pension but on the advice of a financial adviser, you transferred it to a private pension, you should note down all your previous employers and gather all your pension information that was held by them

If you can provide as much information as possible when you contact a solicitor the better, although this would not be a perquisite to filing a mis-sold pension compensation claim.

How Much Mis-sold Pension Compensation Could I Receive?

The amount of mis-sold pension compensation you could receive in a successful claim would depend on several things bearing in mind that each case is unique. With this said, the amount you could be awarded may in the following regions:

  • If you held a small to medium pension or annuity, the amount you may receive would be anything from £30,000 to £50,000 depending on your circumstances
  • If you held a medium to large pension or annuity, you could be awarded anything from £50,000 to £150,000 depending on your circumstances
  • If you held a large pension or annuity, you could receive £150,000+

Would a Solicitor Represent Me on No Win No Fee Terms?

Once a legal expert has determined that you have a strong mis-sold pension compensation claim which they would do by offering you a no obligation, initial consultation which is free of charge, they would typically offer to represent you on No Win No Fee terms. This means that you would not have any financial risks or costly legal fees to find when filing a mis-sold pension claim.

There would be not retainer or upfront fee to pay and there would be no ongoing fees to find as your case progresses either. You would only have to pay for the legal advice and representation that a legal expert provided when you are awarded a settlement and the amount is taken out of the money you receive. In short, you would receive the balance of the mis-sold pension compensation you are awarded.

Should your case not be successful and you are not awarded the mis-sold pension compensation you sought, there would nothing to pay the solicitor for the legal services they provided.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Legal Expert Work on a Mis-sold Pension Claim?

As previously mentioned, mis-sold pension claims can be complex more especially when it comes to determining that a financial adviser was in breach of the FCA regulations and rules when it came to selling you either a pension or an annuity. A legal expert is aware of the many types of claims relating to this type of claim whether it is mis-sold pensions that are SERPS related or SIPP related.

Even if you have not managed to gather all the relevant information relating to previously company held pensions you had prior to transferring one to a private pension scheme, a solicitor would be able to do this on your behalf and boast years of experience in doing so. A solicitor would also ensure that all the relevant information is available when filing your mis-sold pension claim which could reduce the risk of unnecessary delays in receiving a level of compensation you deserve.

Useful Links

If you would like more information on the difference between a “pension” and an “pension annuity”, please click on the link that is provided below:

Pension Wise and Pension Annuities

To find out further information on pensions, please follow the link provided below:

Citizens Advice On Pensions More information relating to pensions in the UK

If you would like further information on FCA regulations and rules, please click on the link below:

More about the rules and regulations that govern pension schemes

Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide Mis Sold Pensions Claims Guide