If you received unsuitable advice about transferring your pension like Gill from Pewsey, 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 their pension savings due to unsuitable advice and if the firm that provided that advice has failed, it may be able to help.

Gill, a 61 year old from Pewsey in Wiltshire received £41,682 in compensation from FSCS having been given unsuitable advice in 2015 to consolidate a number of private pensions she had built up over her career and put them into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).

Having had lots of different jobs, starting work in the public sector, then working in consultancy and at one stage having her own company, consolidating her various pensions into a SIPP seemed to make sense. She trusted her adviser and went ahead with the transfer. But when she turned 60 and was looking to retire, she found that her money had been invested in a number of unsuitable (often long term) investments such as car parks and overseas hotels and she wouldn’t be able to access it fully until she was 75. It had also reduced in value.

Thankfully, Gill found out about FSCS having sought advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Pension Wise. As the advice firm that gave her the unsuitable advice had failed, she successfully put in a claim and received £41,882 in compensation.

Gill explained: “I had always planned to retire at 60 but without the compensation from FSCS, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I would have had to continue working for longer.” 

The process also took less time than she had expected. “I was thinking that I might have to get a part time job to tide me over,” she said, but having submitted her claim in September 2022, she received her compensation in January 2023. 

Her advice to anyone in her situation is “don’t be daunted as FSCS do the work on your behalf” when you make a claim, “they did a brilliant job and it was far easier than I thought it would be”. For those worried that they might not be able to claim directly, Gill’s message is: “you definitely don’t need to go through anyone else.”

And Gill 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.

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 his money back when the adviser he used went out of business earlier this year.  And 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. 

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.

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