If you received unsuitable advice about consolidating your pension, like Karl from Peterborough, 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.  

 Karl Hayes, 66 from Peterborough lost almost £55k after transferring three pensions into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) in 2013 but FSCS were able to help him get all his money back when the adviser who had provided him this unsuitable advice went out of business earlier this year.

Back in 2013, Karl wanted to consolidate one largish and two small pensions that he had built up, so he did his research and found a company to help him do that. He had no reason to doubt them as they had good reviews online. As he is not a risk taker his understanding was that the SIPP would cover low to medium risk investments. 

However, in 2017, his annual investment statement showed that the value of his investments had gone down and a few years later they had lost even more value. He tried to contact his adviser in 2017 and didn’t find it an easy process. He spoke to them again in 2022 and they told him there was nothing they could do. 

Having put a claim in to FSCS in February 2023 after the firm failed, he was pleasantly surprised to receive compensation of almost £55k at the end of June. “I was delighted. It was a lot more than I had been expecting,” he said.

The impact for Karl if he hadn’t been able to get his money back would have been huge. Having had some difficult years with his health, he wanted to slow down and step away from his stressful retail management role and go part time. Thanks to the compensation he has been able to move to a less pressured sales role, working 21 hours a week. 

His message to other people in a similar position, who feel all is lost after receiving bad advice is “Don’t give up. There are people out there to help you.” 

And Karl 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 got £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 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.