In recent times there has been an increase in the number of mis-sold pension claims, often involving large sums of money. This is an extremely specialist area of the financial services sector, with mis-advice often going unnoticed for many years.
So, if you believe you were mis-sold pensions or given inappropriate advice, you need to lodge a complaint.
It is extremely important to gather as much evidence as possible when making a claim for mis-sold pensions, which may ultimately lead to compensation.
The first hurdle is to prove negligence on behalf of one or more third parties. Once this has been proven, you can then move on to claiming compensation for the level of advice provided.
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There are many different reasons to why you may be seeking compensation from a financial adviser.
This is one of the main issues when it comes to pension mis-selling. There are risks with any type of investment, but they need to be explained. There is a big difference between your adviser explaining the risks to you and you not understanding them.
So, if the adviser has explained the risks of taking certain actions with your pension funds, then legally, they have carried out their duties.
It is no excuse to come back at a later date and suggest you didn’t understand the risks. There will likely have been numerous opportunities to question the risks and rewards.
It is unfortunate, but this is often a get-out clause for advisers. If the potential risks of a certain action with your pension funds were not covered, that is a whole different scenario.
It is a common mistake for individuals to focus on different areas of their finances, in isolation, while not taking account of the overall picture. This is not something that should happen with a financial adviser.
Taking individual areas of finance in isolation may prompt certain thoughts and certain actions. However, these may be very different once the wider picture is considered.
So, if you’re financial/pension adviser failed to assess your overall finances, this could lead to claims of negligence and compensation. Know your client (otherwise known as KYC) is an integral part of the financial services industry. Failure to appreciate this important element does not reflect well on a financial adviser.
While some pension fund arrangements will create a defined benefit, others, such as SIPPs, are dependent on the movement of investments and described as defined contributions. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous for advisers to make any promises regarding long-term defined contribution pension fund performance.
Unfortunately, we have seen incidents where advisers have “promised” that clients will be able to pay off their mortgages with pension fund lump sum entitlements. Only to find there were insufficient funds available.
When dealing with any investment, not just pension fund investments, it is important to request any advice in writing/email format. This may be used to provide evidence later on, in the event that promises made were not delivered.
It is fair to say that the UK government/regulators have closed various loopholes regarding financial fees/charges. All advisers are now legally obliged to disclose any relationships with third parties that may involve commission or some form of inducement.
They also need to be fully transparent regarding the make-up of fees/charges and how these may impact future performance. Failure to do so could result in compensation claims further down the line.
If you were a victim of mis-selling with regards to your pension fund, there is a timeframe for claiming compensation. You will have six years from the date you were mis-sold the pension fund or three years from the point at which you became aware.
While this may seem like a relatively long timeframe, not all pension mis-selling issues will be immediately evident. So, how often should you review your pension fund arrangements?
Even if there has been relatively little change in your financial assets, there may have been significant changes in your personal life. It is, therefore, very important to carry out annual financial reviews which take in all areas of your life. From personal loans to mortgages, pension fund arrangements to insurance policies, all of these should be considered together.
If you look at different areas of your financial make-up in isolation, this may prompt actions that are not always correct for your overall financial situation. For example, if you came into a significant amount of money, it may look sensible to top up your pension fund.
However, what if you have personal loans and high-interest credit card debts that are dragging you down? It may prove more prudent to focus on high-interest debts in the short-term or even split the financial windfall.
There are few areas of the personal injury claims sector that are straightforward. Proving negligence in relation to financial advice can be a minefield. Therefore, if you believe you have been mis-sold pensions in the past, it is sensible to take professional advice.
These companies have been there, done it, and know what they are looking for. They also know how to present evidence in the best light to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
If you have a relatively strong case for compensation, the vast majority of claims management companies will offer a “no-win, no fee” arrangements. This effectively indemnifies you from any costs incurred pursuing your case.
However, in exchange, they will look to negotiate a success fee, which is a share of any compensation awarded. The average success fee tends to be around 25%, but it will vary on a case-by-case basis.
While quite rightly, much of the focus tends to be on compensation when it comes to mis-sold pensions, there is a wider picture to consider. Unless negligent third parties are held to account, nothing will change.
Individuals will continue to receive substandard advice, see their finances impacted, and their long-term standard of living eroded. So, pursuing a case for mis-sold pensions is more than just a simple claim for compensation.
Even a relatively small personal pension fund can run into tens of thousands of pounds. The impact of mis-selling could significantly erode the value of your fund and spending power going forward.
So, it is no surprise to learn that when mis-selling is proven and negligence accepted; there can be some relatively large compensation awards. Compensation awarded should fill the gap between where the individual’s finances are today and where they should/would have been having they received the correct advice.
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.
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