There have been a number of mis selling scandals hitting the financial services area lately, and it seems like every week there is new area affected. One area where the problem has been rumbling on for years now is pensions, and there are no signs that the scale of it is getting any better. The number of people claiming compensation for a mis sold pension increases all the time, so if you think you might be one of them read on.
Have I Been Mis Sold?
Obviously, your first concern is to find out whether you have been mis sold a pension and whether you are entitled to any compensation. The section below gives some examples where it has occurred, though it is by no means exhaustive – if you have any reservations about any advice you have been given, then contact a pension’s expert who will be able to advise you.
These were very popular in the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s, when interest rates were high. People were advised that could take out an interest only mortgage and start a pension as a means of paying off the mortgage at the end of the term. In many cases, these failed to grow as predicted or promised, leaving homeowners with a shortfall that they had to find themselves.
In 2006, rules on switching pensions were relaxed and many advisors had their clients change providers, either on the promise of better returns or to make the administration easier. While this did benefit many people, a number lost out. They weren’t told of charges, or the risks associated with the new funds, or the fact that it wasn’t an equivalent scheme and all sorts of other things that led to the actual returns being lower than what was promised.
Final salary schemes
These pension schemes came with a number of guarantees, not least of which were minimum levels of growth and guaranteed levels of income once you retired. Many people were advised to transfer them into other schemes, such as personal pensions, which appeared to be able to give better returns. However, if the pension didn’t perform as planned or as you were advised then there is a chance that you may have lost out financially and therefore that it was mis sold.
People approaching retirement, i.e. those in their 50’s and 60’s, are often advised to move their pension ‘pot’ into other schemes and funds that would supposedly protect the funds already built up. As with the other examples, a number of people may have lost out because the advisor didn’t take into account their views regarding risk, or tell them about charges, or explain properly the options available.
If you think any of the examples above apply to you, then you need to get your claim checked out properly. Due to the complexity of the rules around how pension schemes work, most people should go to a specialist pension claims company who will investigate on their behalf and, if they have been mis-sold to, raise a claim for compensation.