If you received unsuitable advice about consolidating your pension, like George from Midlothian, FSCS can help

Consolidating several pensions might seem like the obvious thing to do but every year FSCS hears from thousands of people who have lost out due to unsuitable advice and if the firm that provided that advice has failed, it may be able to help.  

George Halliday, aged 67 from Midlothian in Scotland got £48,000 in compensation from FSCS having been badly advised to transfer his final salary pension into a SIPP in 1992. 

Back in 1992 George met a financial adviser who persuaded him to transfer his old final salary British Coal pension into a private pension. However, they didn’t explain the risks that this would involve.

After pensions freedom was introduced in 2014, George decided to see how much the pension he had transferred was worth and was surprised to find that his pension pot was only worth about £14,000. He decided to withdraw the money and never really thought any more about it until he saw a Facebook advert from a claims management company aimed at people who might have lost money transferring their final salary pensions.

As a result, he made a claim to FSCS and found that despite withdrawing the money in his pension pot he was still due £48,000 in compensation as the firm that gave him the unsuitable advice had gone out of business in 2004. 

Having made a claim with FSCS, George received his compensation in April 2023. He described the compensation as “a great help. I was able to reduce my mortgage right down. Without it I would have had to work past 70.” 

His message to other people in a similar position is “Claim! I never thought for one minute that I’d get £48,000. I’d already taken some money and thought the case would be closed.”

Having been unaware of the free service that FSCS provides, George was not too worried about paying commission to a claims management firm but knowing what he knows now he suggested other people in his situation come direct to FSCS to save themselves paying commission: “If I’d known about FSCS and felt that I was able to complete the paperwork myself I would have come direct.” 

And George isn’t the only one who FSCS have helped get back on track having been unsuitably advised to transfer their pension(s) into a SIPP.

Gill, 61 from Pewsey in Wiltshire received £41,682 in compensation from FSCS having received unsuitable advice in 2015 to consolidate a number of private pensions into a SIPP. FSCS were able to help her get her money back when the adviser she had used had gone out of business. And Karl Hayes, aged 66, from Peterborough lost almost £55k after transferring three pensions into a SIPP in 2013 but FSCS were able to help him get all this money back when the adviser he used went out of business earlier this year.

If you have been wrongly advised to transfer your pension(s) you can check if you can claim through FSCS by visiting https://claims.fscs.org.uk/ . You can also contact our Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100, or by email at enquiries@fscs.org.uk.

For the latest FSCS news and information visit https://www.fscs.org.uk/ or follow @FSCS on X.