Further Update for FSCS Claimants with Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPS)
17th February 2015
FSCS is now in a position to start compensating claimants for losses in the value of investments held in SIPPs, in addition to compensating for lost pension growth and charges taken from their SIPPs.
FSCS will consider claims for investment losses resulting from the advice given by firms to switch to the SIPP. This will include consideration of claims for losses suffered in relation to three investment schemes (up to our investment limit of £50,000), namely:
- Green Oil Plantations Limited
- Harlequin Hotels and Resorts
- Sustainable AgroEnergy Plc.
FSCS has been issuing decisions on SIPP related claims against Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) that are no longer trading since September 2014. These claims have been in relation to advice given to transfer funds from existing pension schemes to SIPPs. In many cases, the SIPP fund was then invested in non-standard asset classes, many of which have become illiquid.
Until now, FSCS has been paying “interim” compensation to claimants who were advised to transfer funds from existing pension schemes to SIPPs for lost pension growth and charges. Also, FSCS has been considering whether to compensate for losses resulting from the investments held in the SIPPs.
We are now satisfied that the IFAs may be legally liable for these investment losses. This is on the basis that those IFAs cannot restrict their advice to the suitability of the SIPP, without considering the suitability of the investments to be held within the SIPP. Each case will be considered on its own facts but the IFAs may be liable for the losses caused by the negligent advice to switch to a SIPP and hold certain investments. When considering future claims, we will be able to take into account claimants’ full losses up to our investment compensation limit.
FSCS will make top-up payments to claimants who have received interim compensation where additional compensation is due. These claimants will not need to contact us or to submit a further claim.
If you have received advice to transfer your pension to a SIPP by an authorised firm that is no longer trading, and have not yet made a claim to FSCS, please contact the FSCS Customer Services Team on freephone 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 to request an application form.