Do you think that you have been mis-sold a pension? When you get to your golden years, you deserve to be supported by a pension scheme that can help you live life to the fullest. It truly is appalling that some pension schemes believe that they can target these vulnerable age groups for money. If you have become the victim of a mis-sold pension scheme, Gowing Law Solicitors are here to help you get compensation for your losses. All of our trained lawyers understand that this sort of situation is extremely stressful, after all, you may have lost the majority of your nest-egg due to an unregulated pension or even a SIPP scheme. That’s why we would be happy to represent you.
Now that you have the best legal representatives on your side, you may be wondering to yourself, “how can I prove that I was mis-sold a pension?” Well, the best way to do that is through evidence of a mis-selling. This is what our blog is going to explore today. That’s way you will know precisely what you could be owed. Click the link below to see more about how we can help you with your case:
What is a mis-sold pension?
When you pick a pension for the future, you pick a scheme that has been personalised to your own financial situation. For most people, your place of work will very likely have a pension scheme that you will be involved with. Here are some examples of the pension schemes you may have been involved in:
In most cases, the easiest option for anyone is to go with a normal work-place pension. Employers should have a scheme in place to give people the option to start saving up for their future retirement plans. However, in some cases you may have had a banker or a completely independent financial advisor that advised you to either invest in a SIPP or even in a completely different pension plan altogether. If you have a mis-sold pension, it is likely that the advice that you received did more harm than good. The advice you received was not tailored to suit your own personal financial situation. Therefore, you most likely lost out on a lot of money that was going to be used to help sustain you in your golden years
If an advisory party has already done this to you, there is a chance that the lender responsible for your damages could receive a penalty and owe you compensation.
The rules of a pension scheme
Let’s have a quick talk about pensions before we jump in to how you could have been mis-sold a pension. Any financial advisor or bank, when talking to you about potential pension schemes, need to follow specific rules and regulations. This includes giving you all available information to keep you informed about your pension and also showing you all pension options. If they follow these rules then it is likely that the pension you pick will suit you completely. Keep in mind that the information you receive should be in relation to:
- Whether or not the package is a risky investment
- If there are any better investments available to you
- How it could be effected by your medical report/medical history
If this did not happen for you then you can bring up the fact that your advisor did not provide you with a pension plan that followed the FCA’s code of practice. This should be good evidence to start validating your mis-sold pension claim. Make sure to read the handbook carefully and see if any the rules within it have been broken. Your legal counsel can help you with this.
How could I have been mis-sold a pension?
When it comes to picking a pension, it is crucial that you get a number of different pension schemes/plans to choose from. Your financial advisor can offer you information about each scheme, however they should not try and influence your decision. Think of it this way, your lender could be involved in a different scheme where they earn commission by recommending you a certain pension. For every person they get involved, this will mean more money goes in to their pockets. Instead, your pension scheme should be focused on what is best for you and your nest egg. If this did not happen for you, there is a high chance that you could have been mis-sold your pension.
This is only one of the ways that your pension could have been untailored to suit your financial status. Here are some other common signs that you have been mis-sold a pension.
The power of the financial advisor
As you can see, what all of these forms of mis-selling have in common is the experience and honesty of your financial advisor. Of course, there are additional ways you could have been mis-sold a pension, including:
- Being pressurized to leave your work pension
- Unknowingly joining a tax avoidance scheme
- Having guaranteed returns offered to you
- A lack of paperwork
- Lacking information about your pension
Again, even these rely on how open your advisor/bank is with you about these schemes. Even if you are still new to investments, you rely on the expertise of your advisor to direct you onto the right path. That’s why it can be devastating to learn that most of your nest-egg has now been lost. Whilst you may not be able to get your pension back, you can still get compensation for your losses. This is where having the right evidence can help you get the justice that you deserve.
How can I prove I was mis-sold a pension?
Now that you have confirmed that you think you are the victim of a mis-sold pension scheme, it is essential that you have the evidence to back it up. If you don’t then it may look like you just took too high of a risk instead of it being due to the negligence of your financial advisor. Make sure to keep all of the documentation that you were provided before you chose to invest. If there are certain documents that are missing, this can show that you were not provided with all of the information to make an appropriate claim. Take a look at the case study to understand a little more:
As you can see from our case study, Cathy has a lot of evidence to show that she was misled in her choice to invest in a different pension plan. Not only was she pressurized but she did not even see a contract that could have gave her more information about where her funds were going. Instead, she relied on the word of her advisor and this trust was abused. If she was going to make a claim, any communication between her and her investment advisor would be extremely useful to show that information was being withheld from her. This may also apply to you.
Validating your pension through evidence
Your main aim is to prove that you are a victim of the negligence of your advisor. They have breached their “duty of care” towards you, and as a result you have incurred financial damages. Proving you are not at fault for this bad investment is not the same as making a claim for a work accident or medical negligence claim. You do not have any injuries. Therefore, you are relying on what information was and was not supplied to you.
Your evidence may include:
- Official investment documents
- Communications between you and your advisor
- Incorrect pension annuities
- Any pension transfers
- Commissions or fees you paid to your advisor
- Important documents that do not detail the risk of your investment
Once you have gathered your evidence, you should start to organize to show how it validates your case. For instance, if you had to pay a fee, don’t be afraid to show receipts and how it made your experience financial damages. This can strengthen your case. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that you will get a larger amount of compensation. Having an experienced lawyer can help you understand exactly what you could be owed and how your evidence can help your case. Don’t be afraid to ask for their assistance! They would be more than happy to provide it.
What should I do now that I have a claim?
In some cases, you may have already tried to make a claim with the UK’s Pension Ombudsman, but you may have been rejected. This is why having a trained solicitor on your side can help you understand how to approach your case without it becoming invalidated.
First of all, make sure to gather your evidence. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that you will be able to prove that you were not the party “at fault” for the bad investment. You will want to act as quickly as possible to make sure that you don’t lose any evidence before your claim is taken to court. Make sure you are concise about your claim and use your evidence precisely to show why your losses should be reimbursed. You may also want to file a complaint to the advisor in the form of a letter of grievance or ask how they deal with complaints. Once you have sent in your grievance then the advisor will have around eight weeks to respond to your case. If they do not respond, you should take your case to your lawyer.
Your lawyer can help find out whether or not they believe that they were negligent in their services. Once they have received an answer from the other party, they can start the proceedings on taking your claim to court. If you do not feel confident or comfortable, they can even represent you in court.
Do you need legal representation?
Gowing Law can help you with your mis-sold pensions claim! We understand that it can be traumatic to have saved up for so long, only to have your pension practically stolen away from you. Well, here at Gowing Law, we think you have every right to claim back what is yours. Whilst you cannot get your full pension back, we can help you claim compensation. Our legal team are extremely experienced in these types of legal claims. That’s why you will always be satisfied with our help.
We can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. These can all be handled remotely or electronically if you are worried about the current pandemic. If you decide to work with a specialist Gowing Law Solicitor, we work on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top, even if you do not win your claim. There is no risk, so what’s stopping you from getting in contact? Nothing at all!
Contact Gowing Law Solicitors today to begin your journey. You can call 0800 041 8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or even use our contact page to message our team directly. Feel free to also follow us on social media:
Learn more about mis-sold pension claims!
Are you ready to learn more about financial mis-selling? There’s a lot more than just mis-sold pensions! You could also have been a victim of unclaimed PPI tax! We have so many blogs on a range of UK legal topics. This includes cosmetic negligence, accident at work claims, public accident claims, criminal activity compensation and RTA claims. Our blog is updated weekly so make sure to keep an eye on it to see the latest information. We also talk about urgent legal topics about Covid-19 and how you may have been affected by it. If you can’t see your question in our blog, why not let us know about it? We would be more than happy to write a blog about information you want to know! Write in to email@example.com and let us know your suggestions now.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog. Good luck with your mis-sold pension case!