The financial industry is running scared about mis-sold pension, yet consumer awareness is low
It only takes a quick glance at articles in the financial media to know that pension mis-selling is well on its way to being the next Big Scandal for the financial services industry, with new horror stories and sentencing of rogue advisers to serious jail time appearing every week.
Regular statements from the Financial Conduct Authority, FSCS and even parliament desperately try to draw attention to the surge in efforts made to weed out those financial advisers that mis-sell pension either through negligence or for a bigger slice of the huge commissions available for pension transfers, especially into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).
Yet many consumers still don’t investigate their pension advice early, instead working on the assumption that THEIR pension is just fine, features no unregulated investments (not under the jurisdiction of the FCA and FSCS safety net) and is perfectly safe and suitable for them, right up until the moment their investments get into trouble, as we’ve seen with Ethical Forestry (in liquidation as of December 2015).
For pension mis-selling, awareness seems to be one of the biggest problems. So how do we generate it to ensure people can set their own recovery nets?
It starts here.
What can a mis-sold Self-Invested Personal Pension do to your future?
There’s no short answer to this important question, but all of it is bad. A mis-sold pension, especially a SIPP is like a hidden time-bomb in your personal finances, which may feature unregulated and unsuitable investments that could liquidate your finances, leaving you with no safety net and struggling to look forward to retirement despite your hard-work earning and saving.
If you’ve saved over your whole working life, only to invest using negligent advice from an IFA and lose it all, how would you feel?
But more importantly, how would you know it was negligent before the investment went pop?
If advisers are trained and educated to sell SIPPs and pensions correctly but mis-selling is still so high, how are you supposed to know if you have been mis-sold?
Well, maybe it’s time to get an indication - try this short test with just 8 questions!
It’s designed around some of the most common failing points that cause financial advisers to give you the wrong advice. Keep your own SIPP in mind as you take it - a low score may indicate that you were given the wrong advice around your SIPP, and you should probably investigate it earlier rather than later before your investment gets into serious trouble.
Mis-sold pension claims
The test, while useful, was just a taster.
To really be sure that you’ve been mis-sold your pension, aren’t involved in high-risk or unregulated investments when you shouldn’t have been, and that your money really is in the best place for you, you need to speak to somebody with the knowledge and experience to tell you whether you can make a claim – a mis-sold pension specialist
Making a claim is about compensating you for the risky situation you have been put in, providing you with your own safety net should your investments go wrong, meaning you can afford to have your pension balancing on the knife-edge your adviser placed it on.
Your investment itself remains your own, win or lose. All a claim does is deliver you a lump-sum that you can use as a backup should the worst happen, capped at £50,000 by the FSCS (if your adviser is no longer trading) or with an unlimited cap by the Ombudsman (if they are still going).
Investigating a claim needn’t cost you anything either, with the best Claims Management companies charging no upfront costs and operating on a No Win – No Fee basis.