If you have been mis-sold a pension then you are going to want to know about it. After all, you have spent all of your life trying to build up your savings. That way you can get to your golden years and live comfortably. However, if you have been scammed out of your pension, or perhaps have unknowingly invested your money in high-risk SIPP, then it is likely that your funds may be drained before you even realized it. You may have been promised a large reward in return for your investment. However, an unregulated pension scheme can return very little on your initial sum.
As a victim of a mis-sold pension, you are entitled to compensation. This is where the experts at Gowing Law Solicitors can move in to help you. There are a number of warning signs that could demonstrate that a pension has been mis-sold to you. These signs can make those who sold you the pension scheme liable for your damages. An experienced mis-sold pension lawyer can help you provide evidence so that you can make a claim. Take a look at some of the signs below to see if you could be owed mis-sold pension compensation.
What is a mis-sold pension?
Now this may seem like a bit of an obvious point, however you would be surprised how many people do not actually know the basics of a mis-sold pension. Usually, if you have a mis-sold pension it means that you have been given “unsuitable advice”. So, for instance, if you were advised to move your pension from a work-scheme to a SIPP scheme, after being promised a larger return than what you standard pension would give you, this was unsuitable advice. Mainly, this is due to the fact that you did not receive the return that you were promised.
A “mis-sold pension” does not just rely on the investor’s advice. In fact, it can be due to the investments themselves. If you were not told about the cost of these payments or the amount that would come with the losses, this is an example of how you were unfairly persuaded into investing. Worse still, you may have even ended up with unregulated investments that you had no idea were part of the deal. This may include:
You did not know about these unregulated investments until it was too late. That is why you ended up losing your pension funds. Make sure to check out all of the details that come along with you pension scheme, especially if you are investing in a SIPP scheme. That way you will always know where your funds are going.
What should I do if I am mis-sold a pension?
Unfortunately, if you have been mis-sold a pension, it is very likely that you will not be able to get back the full amount of your investment. However, you can claim compensation for your losses. Now, according to the UK government website, to claim compensation, your claim must fall into one of three categories:
As you can see, these are the main ways to distinguish whether or not you have a claim. However, if you invested in a SIPP, you may want to look carefully at their policies and keep updated about any news about them. This can tell you whether or not your investments may not be going as well as you hoped. Make sure to keep any correspondence between you and your advisor. If they are lying about any facts surrounding your pension scheme, this can be used as evidence.
How to tell if you have been mis-sold a pension?
As lawyers, Gowing Law strives to help as many people around the UK with their claims as possible, whether they are work accidents or mis-sold mortgages, it is extremely sad to see someone who has had all of their savings taken away. That’s why we want to provide as much support as possible during this stressful period. If you have recently invested in a pension scheme such as a SIPP, or perhaps are considering it, make sure to look at these ten signs of being offered an unsuitable pension scheme:
1. You were cold-called
One of the biggest red flags when it comes to pensions is being offered a scheme through cold calling. Cold calling is when an advisor/investor will contact you out of the blue and offered you a way to increase your pension fund. Usually these type of calls will be from numbers you do not recognize. The investors on the other end will not know anything about your own personal situation. Instead, they will be trying to see who will “bite” at the opportunity to make more money. Usually, these types of calls end up being scams.
2. Your Investment adviser lied about their experience
Now, when you reach out for investment help from a pension specialist, you expect them to have the right qualifications. This can include a qualification in pension essentials, calculations and administration. They may also have taken courses about the best investment opportunities and how to apply them to different people. That way they can provide you with an appropriate pension scheme that can support you throughout your old age with the financial returns.
However, this was not the case. Some investors do lie about their experience in order to bring in more clientele. They may have claimed to have qualifications or worked in investments for longer than they have. In order to help you avoid this in the future, make sure to ask for a copy of your investor’s qualifications or evidence of their prior experience. These should be readily available if they do not have anything to hide.
3. Your investor did not provide you information about your pension
Did you know that at least 49% of mis-sold pensions happen because the pension holders were not provided with specific information about their investment? Most people are told about the positives of their pension. However, your investor may have left out some of the risks involved in the scheme. This meant that you invested your hard-earned pension without knowing what was fully involved. There could be small details that were not mentioned, worse still it may have been invested in high-risk products. This is what happened to SIPP investors that were convinced to put their money into The Dolphin Trust and Harlequin Properties. However, SIPPs are a little different to mis-sold pensions, so make sure to visit our SIPP page for more information:
4. Lack of Paperwork
How could you possibly make any sort of investment if you do not have the appropriate paperwork to back it up? Any investment should come with paperwork that details what you are investing in, how much you should expect to make out of your investment and how long it should potentially take. It should also list any potential risks that may make you lose money. Having the appropriate paperwork will help you distinguish whether or not you actually want to invest in the pension scheme or if you want to look around for alternatives. If a pension investor comes to you and claims to not have any paperwork to make things “simpler”, this is a red flag that something underhanded may be going on. Do not invest in this sort of “get rich quick” scheme.
5. Pressurized Investments
Now, in some cases, it may be likely that the investor you are working with may be making a commissioned profit off of your investment. This is because they get paid for every person they pull into the scheme. Of course, they will not tell you this, but it definitely gives them incentive to try and get you to invest. You may find that your investor starts to pressurize you in to the scheme by saying:
- Your contract has a time limit
- The investment is only going to be this cheap for so long
- They are going to offer your investment to someone else
- Other schemes require larger payments to invest
If you feel like you are being forced to invest, rather than you are being given a genuine choice, this is a sign that it may not be worth it. Make sure to tell your investor that you do need time to consider your options and that you cannot be forced into a pension scheme without careful consideration. If they do not back down then clearly it is time for you to find a different pension scheme.
6. Guaranteed Returns
If you have been mis-sold a pension, it is likely that it is due to the fact that your investor promised you a lot more than what they could actually deliver. An investor can provide you with case studies and evidence of how well a certain pension scheme has delivered for other people, however, they cannot ultimately say that any sort of pension scheme has a 100% chance of a guaranteed return. An investor saying this to you is clearly a red flag. It may also indicate that they do not know or understand the type of scheme they are trying to get you to invest in. Make sure to do your research if your investor is not telling you all of the facts about your potential pension scheme.
7. Fees & Charges
When you enter a pension scheme, the last thing you want to hear is that there is a joining fee or hidden commission fee that is required by your advisor to proceed with the investment. This should not happen if you are transferring your funds in to a pension scheme. Paying for anything that is outside of your initial investment is always a bad sign. After all, it is shows that your advisor solely wants to make money off you rather than help you retire in comfort.
8. Tax Avoidance Schemes
Now, this is completely illegal and normally is a sign of a scam. You have to pay tax in the UK or else you could be scamming vital services out of money. If you were unaware that this was happening, or that your funds had gone anywhere near this sort of scheme, you could be owed a lot of compensation. Make sure to provide evidence that you were not knowingly involved in this sort of scheme, including mis-leading documentation and communication between you and your advisor.
9. You were pressurized to leave your work pension
Normally, if you have had your funds placed into a work-place pension, they usually use a standard pension scheme that can ensure you get a comfortable amount once you retire. Those who are used to making investments may actively choose to leave this pension scheme. This is because they have a basic understanding of how investments work and how they can make a profit off them. However, if you are not used to investing, it is likely that you will stick with the pension provider of your firm. This is why it may have taken some convincing to try and get you to invest your funds in to a different type of pension scheme.
Did you find that your pension advisor recommended that you leave your work’s pension scheme? This act of pressure may have made you feel uncomfortable or like you were being bullied in to a scheme. You may have lost out on a good sum of money due to this bad advice. That’s why you could be due compensation.
10. New Unregulated Schemes
Even now, there are a number of unregulated investment schemes that are being marketed to vulnerable people. Around 19% of schemes that are judged as “dodgy” tend to get that title because they have not been adequately evaluated. Some advisors spend as little as 15 minutes checking over each scheme to make sure that each scheme is appropriate for their clients. It is the advisor’s duty to make sure that they understand that each scheme is personalized to their client’s needs. A good advisor will do diligence processes to ensure that each investment is not a scam scheme. Make sure your advisor does this as well or else you may have been accidentally mis-sold a pension.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your claim!
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we think it is disgraceful that someone would try to scam you out of your hard-earned pension. If you are the victim of a mis-sold pension then you deserve compensation. That way you can reclaim some of the funds that were stolen from you. Gowing Law has experienced mis-sold pension solicitors that are ready to help you. They can offer you free consultations and advice to get you started. This can all be done from the safety of your home. Gowing Law is more than happy to help you remotely. If you decide to work with us, our solicitors work on a “no-win, no fee” basis. That means there is no risk to you making a claim. You will always come out on top.
Speak to a professional solicitor today about your claim! Call 0800 041 8350, email email@example.com, or use our direct messaging feature on our contact page. From there, one of our helpful team members will be in contact with you as quickly as possible.
Read more about mis-sold pensions
We are proud that we keep our blog updated every week. This is with the latest articles on UK law and topical issues. If you want to learn more about mis-sold pensions and SIPPs, see the articles below to get started:
- Are you the Victim of a Mis-Sold Pension?
- How to Choose the best Self-Invested Pension Plan (SIPP Scheme)
We also cover other areas of financial mis-selling, like PPI tax claims and mis-sold mortgages. Feel free to scroll through our blog as much as you want. We are sure there is an article that you will love reading!
If you want to suggest a topic for our blog, feel free to write in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be more than happy to cover it or sign you up to our weekly newsletter.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. See you in our next blog!