We receive complaints about the advice people have received to transfer their pension benefits to a new arrangement. This could be from one type of personal pension to another, such as a personal pension to a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), or from a workplace pension to a personal pension or SIPP.
Types of complaints we see
You may feel that when you were advised to transfer your pension benefits, the financial business:
- didn’t take into account the loss of guarantees in your previous personal pension arrangement – such as guaranteed annuity rates (GARs)
- didn’t make you aware that a market value adjustment (MVA) could be applied to your ‘with-profits’ pension fund when transferring to another arrangement
- didn’t make you aware you could pay increased charges by redirecting your pensions contributions
- exposed you to unsuitable types of investments in the new arrangement
If you’re concerned that the financial business unsuitably advised you to transfer the benefits from your workplace pension, such as a “final salary” scheme (also known as a defined benefit scheme), or a defined contribution scheme with employer contributions – or didn’t carry out a “pension review” in line with the regulator’s guidance – you can read more about this in our information about workplace pension transfers.
What we look at
We’ll look at the specific circumstances of the case and the points put forward by both you and the financial business. This includes taking into account:
- the reasons for the transfer and why it was thought to be in your best interests
- the suitability of the investments in the new arrangement
- what information you were given at the time of the transfer – including the up front and ongoing costs of the new arrangement
How to complain
We only look at complaints that a financial business has had a chance to look at first. This means that, even if you bring your complaint straight to us, we still need to give the business an opportunity to respond to the complaint and put things right.
If you’ve complained and a business hasn’t responded within the time limits or you disagree with the response, then we can start to look into it.
Putting things right
If we uphold your complaint, we’ll tell the business what it needs to do to put things right. This could take the form of financial compensation paid to your pension plan or directly to you. We might also make an award for any trouble and upset you’ve been caused.
Detailed information for businesses
Businesses can find out more detailed information about personal pension transfers.