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Case Study: Mr D

Case Study

The Problem

Mr D was advised by Pearl Assurance, who are now a part of Phoenix Life, to transfer his previous Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme to a personal pension with Pearl Assurance. Mr D transferred £6,467.93 as he was advised by Pearl Assurance that the proposed pension would “make him more” money and the returns would be “much better”. Mr D trusted the adviser, as he was 23 years of age at the time and did not have any reason to question the advice that he was given. Mr D felt disappointed with the performance of the Pearl Assurance pension since the transfer and felt that he had “the wool pulled over his eyes”.

The Solution

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice wrote to Phoenix Life with a letter of complaint due to the negligent advice that Mr D received from Pearl Assurance. Phoenix Life responded to Spencer Churchill Claims Advice rejecting the complaint stating that Mr D was invited for a pension review in January 1999 and a further letter was sent out 28 days later; they provided the address that the letters were sent to at the time. Phoenix Life explained the cut-off date for the pension transfer review set by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) was March 2000, they stated that Mr D was “out of time” for a review.

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice responded to Phoenix Life and explained that Mr D had moved out of the address they held on file and provided his correct address at the time. Unfortunately, Spencer Churchill Claims Advice did not receive a response from Phoenix Life so the complaint was referred over to the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) to review.

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice provided the FOS with a copy of Mr D’s bank statement at the time which proved that he did not live at the address that Phoenix Life held for him. Spencer Churchill Claims Advice also informed the FOS that Mr D became aware that he was potentially mis-advised in November 2019 having come across information regarding people who had received negligent advice to transfer away from their Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

The Result

The FOS ordered Phoenix Life to carry out the review in line with the latest regulatory guidance. The investigator at the FOS reviewed the evidence submitted by Spencer Churchill Claims Advice and Phoenix Life and concluded that Mr D did not receive the pension review letters and is within his right to have the original advice reviewed

Phoenix Life completed their assessment of the advice Mr D received from Pearl Assurance and made an offer of £159,822.82. Mr D has since accepted their offer.

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