During a debate in Parliament on 10 April concerning the subject of the British Steel pension transfer scandal, John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury announced that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is making individual assessments into the firms who have been seen to provide a significant amount of defined benefit pension transfer advice. He confirmed the likelihood of the FCA going back and visiting a select group of those holding the biggest amount of this type of business on their books.
In December 2018, the FCA stated that in less than 50% of the cases that it had reviewed, the advice was deemed as suitable and that “any firm active in this market can expect to be involved in our work in 2019.” They went on to add that “we will not hesitate to use our investigatory powers where we identify evidence of serious misconduct which could have caused harm to consumers.”
Unfortunately, poor pension advice is something we see all too often. The FCA position on transferring out of defined benefit final salary pension schemes (occupational pensions) is very clear. It is certainly not something for everyone and opening position should always be that, in the first instance, it should not be recommended. All too often, commission driven transfers have happened in the past and continue to happen. It is also clear that in many cases, pension holders who have transferred out are paying good money in on-going advice fees, but in reality, receiving no annual review.
If you have transferred out from a present or past occupational pension scheme and are unsure as to whether you may have received poor advice, Beat the Banks are here to help. You can either complete our contact form and we will be in touch or, if you prefer, you can give our team a call on 01382 200474. If you live local to Dundee you are also more than welcome to pop into our city centre office with any paperwork that you have.