Whether you suspect that your provider might have mis-sold you a pension scheme, filing a claim for mis-sold pension, or your mis-sold pension has been confirmed, it is advisable to know about the claim process to protect yourself in retirement.
Over the years, many people have been victims of negligent or misleading pension advice concerning QROPs, SSAS and SIPP investments, or final salary transfers. This is what’s referred to as mis-selling pension. It has led many people to lead miserable lives after retirement because their pensions never grew as it was supposed to. Some have also lost their money if they got transferred to high-risk investments.
Are you a victim of mis-sold pension? You need not despair. To claim a mis-sold pension, take the steps below.
1. Identify The Mis-Sold Claim
This is the first and the most difficult step. First, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve been duped and you have a genuine claim. Not only that, but it’s also a big challenge to find out whether you’ve lost some money and how much it is. It is also difficult to single out who mis-sold the pension or what parts of the advice are/were negligent.
You may become confused and may not know whether you’ve mis-sold a pension, who to blame, and how far you’ve been affected. This is because you may not be knowledgeable enough on financial matters. In this case, you can seek help from an expert who can look into your case and detect whether there’s any foul play.
However, in most cases, the blame lies with your financial adviser. It is your financial adviser’s responsibility to protect your investment by making sure all your financial dealings are legit. Your pension provider may also bear some responsibility. If you aren’t sure where to start, a claims specialist can come in handy to help you identify your mis-sold pensions.
2. Review The Paperwork
Claiming mis-sold pensions involves a lot of paperwork. You need to collect as much information as possible about the mis-sold pension. This will allow the relevant agencies/authorities to get a clear picture of what transpired and know where the fault is.
Getting all the documents to support your claim is a daunting task, but it is necessary to build your case to get a positive result. If you don’t know what may be needed from you, contact a mis-sold pensions claims expert to help you here.
The expert will deal directly with your financial adviser and pensions provider to get all that you need. The expert will need Letters of Authority from you to help him get what he needs from your financial adviser and pensions provider.
3. Build Your Claim
After identifying the mis-sold claim and reviewing the paperwork, your next step is to build a strong claim. It is worth noting that a small mistake from your end may result in your case getting dismissed.
So you have to understand who you are claiming against and who you’ll address the claim to.
There are a variety of options here. You can send the mis-sold pension claims or the final salary claims to your adviser as a complaint or send them to the Financial Ombudsman Service or another independent body like the FSCS.
Some experts advise that claimants start with their providers before escalating their cases to the ombudsman or the FSCS. This is because these independent bodies may be interested in knowing what steps you’ve taken to recover your funds and what responses you received.
Getting A Positive Result
Your claim should receive a response from whoever you sent it to. The response will inform you whether or not your claim is valid. If you started with the adviser or the pension provider and accepted your claim, well and good.
In this case, the adviser will offer compensation. Ultimately, it will be upon you to decide whether to accept or reject the compensation. You can reject compensation if you feel it’s too little. The best way to go about it is to negotiate with your adviser and agree on reasonable compensation.
If the adviser fails to honor your claim, you can forward your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Pensions Ombudsman. Whichever agency you choose, they’ll assess your case, review your supporting documents, contact the adviser (or pension provider), and then develop a determination that will be binding.
As you can see, dealing with the mis-sold claims and final salary claims involves a lot. If you have limited knowledge or understanding of the claims, your claims can be rejected, or you may receive very little compensation. That’s why it’s not advisable to go it alone. See help from an expert.