• TYPES OF CLAIMS

Aspire Business Management have realised that the need for Claims Management has rapidly increased in the past few years. This is due to the increase in mis-sold pensions and investments. More people have been searching for companies to help them with their bad pension and investment advice. This mis-selling crisis stems from poor advice from pension specialists and Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) to transfer cash, company pension schemes (Final Salary Schemes) and personal pensions into risky investments which have went bust or are in administration. Such investments include overseas property, storage pods, ethical forestry, green oil, carbon credits, car parks and much more.

Cash & Investments

This is where you have been advised to invest in cash or been advised to cash in or surrender an existing investment in order to invest into a new one.

SIPPS

These are Self Invested Personal Pension plans. These are schemes where a customer can determine their own investment strategy, which normally would be selected by the plan provider or trustees. SIPPs allow customers to invest in personal pension plans but can also be directed to invest in alternative investments such as stock market shares and/ or commercial property.

There has been a huge increase in the number or people transferring existing personal pension plans or from salary related pension schemes called ‘defined benefit schemes.’

Some of these investments are unregulated and your adviser may not be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This would mean that a SIPP customer would have very little or no protection whatsoever if the unregulated investments fail.

SWITCHING PENSIONS

This happens when you transfer from one personal pension (sometimes referred to as ‘defined contribution’ schemes) to another and can also include transfers out of a ‘money purchase’ scheme which would be provided by an employer. It would also include State Earnings Related Pensions Scheme (SERPS).

This should not be confused with the term ‘Pension Transfers’ which means transferring away from an employer-sponsored salary-related pension scheme which is also referred to as a ‘defined benefit’ scheme (DB scheme).

A salary-related pension is a scheme which employees are promised a portion of their final or career average salary for each year of service with the employer.

Knowing the difference between the terms discussed are key to knowing whether or not pension switches are in one’s best interests, which could lead to bad pension switch advice.

TRANSFERRING OUT

Transferring out of this type of pension to an alternative pension scheme means that your pension fund could potentially be exposed to the investment performance of the fund and in some circumstances this could be a higher risk to your income in retirement.

The DB scheme (or salary-related pension scheme) is generally not affected by investment performance as the customer is offered a certain level of retirement pension.

If you have been advised to transfer out of the scheme, then a satisfactory amount of information about the benefits that you are losing and possible risks, should have been explained.

A transfer out may be in your interests but it will depend upon your personal circumstances, your attitude to risk and your capacity to undergo a loss.

In addition, a transfer out might have been mis-sold to you if you were not correctly informed of the consequences and benefits lost, and if you were not fully informed, aware, understanding or accepting of the transfer out.

Furthermore, there may have been mis-advice given to you if there was never a chance that better benefits could have been gained form a different pension scheme in comparison with your former pension scheme.

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