Your hard earned life’s work should be protected from misuse. If you were not fully informed of the risks involved with taking out a certain pension scheme, or you were not advised about the alternative options on offer, you may have been mis-sold your pension.
When obtaining financial advice regarding your pension, it is vital to bear in mind the risk of pension mis-selling, negligent advice and even fraud in some cases. We handle all types of financial mis-selling claims within England and Wales and can help guide you through your mis-sold pension claim (or indeed other financial mis-selling for instance with loans, bank cards and the like). We can offer a ‘no win, no fee’ basis for these types of claims so if you think you have an issue it is best to enquire with us today.
How do I know if I have been mis-sold a pension?
There are many different ways you could have been mis-sold a pension, including:
Your financial adviser unduly pressurised you into taking a certain pension plan out
This may occur where the financial adviser makes you feel as though you must accept the advised plan, which could be proven true if they have failed to make any other options known to you.
You were not offered all the available options
This is where the adviser fails to inform you about every option you have. If your adviser did not tell you about each appropriate pension plan, you may have a claim against them.
Your pension plan was misleading
This does not necessarily mean that the information in the pack was false, but more that it led you to believe that the pension package does one thing, when in actual fact the pension scheme does another. An example would be if the pension plan information detailed benefits that other clients have received from their pensions, without a disclaimer stating the level of benefits will be reflective of individual pay and circumstances, leading you to think you will receive the same as aforementioned clients.
Your adviser didn’t ask you about, or take into consideration, your personal circumstances
If your financial adviser failed to make a profile of your specific circumstances which shape the way your pension plan should look, they may be liable for a mis-sold pension plan. A financial adviser must establish your personal circumstances and wishes for the future before crafting your pension advice.
The risks were not properly explained to you
Every pension plan comes with risks, but some are much higher risk than others, such as SIPPs. With this type of pension, there is a transfer of your pension fund to investments in other funds, so it is essential you are made aware of the fluctuation in the market for that particular investment, so you can weigh up the pros and cons before making any decisions. A financial adviser must go through all the various risks with you and discuss the effect they may have on your pension.
There were unexplained fees
If your financial adviser did not detail all the fees you would be liable for, but instead these fees surfaced after the agreement was made, they may have broken their code of conduct. This may give rise to a negligence claim.
The financial adviser was working with an unregulated third party (for SIPPs)
A pension SIPP is a high risk pension scheme which invests personal pensions to hypothetically generate more money from them. When dealing with SIPPs, financial advisers should only engage with regulated and registered third parties to invest in. If a financial adviser instead invests in an unregulated third party, this leaves the client with heightened risks, as unregulated bodies are not protected by the Financial Conduct Authority. This may leave the client extremely vulnerable and at a monetary loss, which we may be able to help regain.
What can I claim?
Each claim is different depending on the circumstances of the mis-sold pension scheme, meaning that the loss suffered as a result will also be different. It is therefore difficult to predict exactly what you can claim, but generally, you will be entitled to be put back into the position you should have been in but for the mis-selling. This can include unearned interest, lost as a result of the inappropriate scheme, or loss of investment opportunities had the pension plan been different.
What time limits are in place?
When a financial product, such as a pension, is mis-sold to you, you must bring a claim against a financial adviser within six years of being sold the product, or within three years of learning it was mis-sold.
If your claim involves a pension scheme set up by your employer, or by yourself, you should also lodge your complaint with the Pensions Ombudsman within three years of when the event happened or within three years from when you first knew about it.
How is the claim funded?
Our professional negligence lawyers are happy to discuss fee options and advise clients under a wide range of fee structures including working under:
- an existing legal expenses insurance (for instance check your home insurance to see if that covers you for certain legal claims),
- a fixed fee,
- traditional hourly rate retainers, or
- a “No Win, No Fee” basis.