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Frequently Asked Questions

Final Salary Claims

Is Pension Mis-Selling Illegal?

Although pension mis-selling is not usually a criminal act as defined by UK law, it is a breach of the regulator’s rules. Such a breach could carry consequences like fines, being forced to pay compensation, and the removal of authorisation to give pension advice.

Some pension ‘mis-selling cases’ involve complex fraud, and may be a mix of negligence and deceit on the part of a financial adviser or a fraudulent investment company.

But in most cases, it comes down to negligence on the part of the financial adviser, not following the rules correctly to ensure that a transfer is in the best interests of the client, leaving them out of pocket in the long run. Unfortunately, such cases are surprisingly common.

Who Does A Final Salary Pension Transfer Claim Go Against?

In most cases, the claim will be made against the advice given by the financial adviser involved. In cases where advice was given, financial advisers have the responsibility to collect enough information about their clients and give advice in their best interests accordingly.

Once we’ve built the claim, we first take it to the financial adviser if they are still running.

They can either uphold the complaint and offer compensation, or reject it.

If rejected, we can then take the claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service – an independent body who will decide if the claim is valid, and who may force the IFA to pay compensation.

If the financial adviser is no-longer trading, it may be that we take the claim to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Of course, every final salary pension transfer claim is a little different, but generally claims end up with the adviser, the FOS or the FSCS.

And If you’d prefer, you can make a claim to your firm directly or go through the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or The Pensions Ombudsman.

To help we have created a mis-sold pension claim templates available online to download to help you get a better picture and guide you through the process.

Whose Fault Is Pension Transfer Mis-Selling?

Financial advisers are supposed to collect enough information to advise of final salary transfers correctly, taking into account everything about the transfer to make sure it is suitable.

But many advisers give unsuitable advice.

Sometimes this is because they haven’t collected enough information, or because they’ve not done their due-diligence in checking out the new pension arrangements.

In some cases, they may have a conflict of interest and may benefit from the transfer, either through large advice fees, commissions or because of a vested interest in the receiving investment schemes.

Of course, other factors and parties may be involved, but generally the buck stops with the adviser who had the professional responsibility to make sure the transfer was in the client’s best interests.

How Does A Final Salary Pension Work?

A final salary pension is a type of defined benefit scheme, where members are awarded a guaranteed income in retirement based on their accrual rate, years of service and the salary they finish their career on.

They are free of charge for members, and considered to be one of the most valuable and widely suitable pensions around.

Chances Of Winning A Final Salary Pension Claim

If you (with or without help from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice) can prove that your financial adviser or new pension provider acted negligently and against FCA rules, compensation is likely.

All of our claims start with a free initial assessment, and operate on with no upfront costs.

You can learn more about mis-sold final salary pension transfers through the UK financial services Regulator at the FCA.

I Transferred After A Cold-Call. Can I Still Claim?

Absolutely. In fact, a number of the mis-sold pension claims we deal with occur due when our client transferred after receiving a cold-call or ‘Free Pension Review’.

In many cases, the call came from an unregulated pension introducer – a marketing company whose job it was to generate new business for pension companies, advisers and investment companies.

Often, these companies are not FCA regulated, and a claim cannot be made against them. However, the chances are that if you were unsuitably advised to transfer a final salary pension , you may be able to make a claim against the financial adviser involved (if there was one) or the new pension company on due diligence grounds.

Mis-Sold Pensions

Is Pension Mis-Selling The Same As PPI?

You could say there are similarities because of the huge number of professional companies that gave the wrong advice and mis-sold financial products.

But there are differences too – pension mis-selling can leave people with no-money to retire on. It can be wrapped up with scams, and both losses and compensation offers often stretch into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands!

Can I Claim For A Mis-Sold SIPP Pension?

The team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are able to look into pension transfers that happened years ago, although from time to time there are instances which we are unable to help.

If the transfer happened after that, get in touch for a free initial assessment – it could be something our experienced team are able to help you with!

Can I Still Claim For A Pension Transfer From Years Ago?

We believe every potential claim is worth looking into – it could change somebody’s life!
That being said, the team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are unable to look into pension transfers that happened before 1994.

If the transfer happened after that, get in touch for a free initial assessment – it could be something our experienced team are able to help you with!

How Can I Make A Mis-Sold Pension Claim?

Every case is different, but often you will be able to make a complaint to your financial adviser or pension company. Failing that, the Financial Ombudsman Service or the FSCS should be able to help.
If you would like Spencer Churchill Claims Advice to represent you, just get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat!

Is Pension Mis-Selling Illegal?

Technically pension mis-selling is not usually a criminal act, but it may be if it extends to fraud. Regulated parties can be fined for negligence and forced to pay compensation, but rarely face criminal charges.

That doesn’t mean you may not be able to get money back if you’ve been mis-sold. Take a free initial assessment with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice to see if you can make a mis-sold pension claim.

Can I Sue My Financial Adviser?

You may not need to. Because all financial advisers giving pension advice need to be regulated by the FCA, they have strict rules to follow, and a claim can be made if they fail in their duties.

You can take a free consultation with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice to see if you can make a claim on a no upfront costs basis.

Is There A Mis-Sold Pension Complaint Letter Template?

While every claim is a little different (sometimes a LOT different), there are some things that end up in pretty much every claim.

You can read about mis-sold pension complaint letter templates here

How Long Does A Mis-Sold Pension Claim Take?

In our experience, we can look at each case on its own merit as all claims have their idiosyncrasies, so it is difficult to give a definitive answer on this.

For more information, get in touch for a free, no-obligation assessment today.

How Far Back Can You Look Into Pension Transfers?

At Spencer Churchill Claims advice, we can look into pension claims as far back as 1988.

So, if the transfer happened after that date, please do not hesitate to get in touch. One of our experts could be able to help you make a claim.

Can I Get Compensation For Bad Pension Advice?

In short: yes you can. If you’ve received misleading advice when investing in a new pension scheme, you could be due compensation.

You can get in touch with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice and we’ll give you free and tailored advice on the strength of your claim and how you can take it forward.

How Much Do You Charge For A Mis-Sold Pension Claim?

At Spencer Churchill Claims Advice, we offer a FREE initial assessment of your claim and we won’t take any fees up front – ever.

Our team of experienced and specialist claim advisors are trained to get you the most compensation possible.

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

What Is The Average Compensation For Mis Sold Pensions?

Every claim is very different – they vary in so many ways depending on the claimant’s individual circumstances.

With that in mind, we can’t realistically give an accurate average compensation value.

What we can promise is that our team of specialist case handlers are dedicated to getting you the best result available.

What Happens If My Pension Provider Goes Bust?

If you have been paying into a pension scheme and the provider has recently gone bust, you may be due compensation: this will depend on the type of pension you have and whether the provider was FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated.

You can contact Gets Claims Advice for a FREE initial assessment and advice on your claim.

SIPP Claims


How Can I Make A Mis-Sold SIPP Claim?

Finding out if you can make a mis-sold SIPP claim is often the first step. Sadly, not everyone who has lost money through a SIPP pension is able to make a claim – it all depends on the advice that was given and by whom.

While pension complaint letter templates exist, you may benefit from a free chat with a Spencer Churchill Claims Advice claims assessor!

Request a call-back and we’ll listen to your pension story and help you discover if you’ve been mis-sold by your adviser or pension company, while explaining the pension claims process to you in more detail.

How Much Does A SIPP Claim Cost?

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

You can also check out our mis-sold pension complaint framework, too.


Can’t I Just Withdraw My Money From My SIPP?

Withdrawing money from any sort of pension (SIPPs included) before the age of 55 may have large tax implications, and you should seek the independent and regulated advice of an IFA before proceeding down this line.

However, in many cases of SIPP mis-selling, this is not possible anyway.

‘Liquid’ investments are those that can be sold relatively quickly and easily. In the case of many high-risk and unregulated investments, the assets become ‘illiquid’, meaning the money is trapped in the investment in a ‘boom or bust’ situation.

If the assets have become illiquid, it may not be possible to sell the investments to either withdraw the money, leave it in the SIPP in cash, or make alternative investments.

That, and if you were mis-sold, you could be missing out on compensation.

How Much Mis-sold SIPP compensation could I be owed?

Each and every mis-sold SIPP claim is different and depends on a variety of factors.

The amount of compensation a client can receive can be anywhere from the hundreds to the tens of thousands.

With that in mind, we can’t give you an accurate average. However, our case handlers will investigate every mis-sold SIPP claim and work to get you the best possible result.

Annuity Claims

How Can I Tell If I Have The Right Annuity For Me?

If you took advice from your annuity provider or an independent adviser, hopefully you got the right advice based on your circumstances and ended up with a suitable annuity arrangement.

However, many annuities are mis-sold, often because people are offered a Standard Annuity when they should perhaps have been given an enhanced annuity.

Speak with a claims handler from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice to get a second opinion on your annuity advice.

What Is A Standard Annuity?

A standard annuity may be suitable for somebody with no particular health problems, who expects to live a long (and hopefully happy life).

The rate at which the money is set to pay out is less than with an enhanced annuity, because the person is expected to life a long time – slow and steady!

What Is An Enhanced Annuity?

While a standard annuity pays out slow and steady over a presumed long lifetime, an enhanced annuity may be more suitable for retirees who aren’t likely to benefit from a long life.

If you smoked, worked with hazardous materials, or have a shortened life expectancy, then an enhanced annuity MAY have been more suitable than a standard annuity because it pays out more money faster, as the annuity company does expect you to live as long.


How Did SERPs Pensions Work?

In a nutshell, SERPS scheme members received an extra pension of 25% of their earnings (above an earning limit). The upper earning limit was around seven times the lower one. Later, the amount was reduced to 20% for those retiring after 2010.

What Was Contracting Out Of SERPs?

Contracting out (sometimes called opting out) of SERPS meant that people partially or completely gave up their SERPS pension benefits in exchange for a higher private pension and paying smaller National Insurance qualifications (or redirected NI contributions).

What Is SERPS Compensation?

Sadly, some people received the wrong advice when it came to SERPS, and may now be worse off in retirement because of it.

Usually, this is because they were told to Opt-Out of SERPS by brokers or financial advisers.

You MAY be able to claim for SERPS compensation if:

  • You were advised to contract out of SERPS by a Financial Adviser
  • The date of the advice you received was between 1 July 1988 and 5 April 1997
  • When you contracted out, you were above 45 years of age (for Males) or 40 years of age (for Women)
  • You were earning over £10k per year, every year.

Did I Have A SERPS Pension?

If you paid Class One National Insurance contributions you might have a SERPS pension, or have already opted out of SERPs.

To check if you have a SERPS pension, login to your Personal Tax Account with HMRC which should show you your status. It may be that you need to create an account, in which case you will likely require your NI number, a recent payslip or P60, and a valid UK passport.

Can I Cash In My SERPS Pension?

If you are entitled to a SERPS pension, you can start drawing it when you reach pensionable age. Since April 2016, anybody eligible for a SERPS pension may receive a single payment combined with their State Pension.

What Is The Maximum SERPS Pension I Can Get?

Through the current additional state pension, the maximum amount you could get is £176.41 per week. Of course, whether you’re eligible for the maximum amount depends on how long you were contracted into your SERPS, and how much you earned throughout your working life.

Data Retention Policy

FAQs About Using Our Website

Does Your Website Use Cookies?

Yes – almost every website operating in 2019 uses ‘essential’ or ‘necessary’ cookies to operate effectively. Essential cookies help remember browser preferences and the like, making your experience on the website as good as possible.

Like many other websites, our own also uses other cookies used for marketing purposes. This can be for purposes such as (but not limited to):

  • Collecting anonymous data about how users find and interact with our website so as to identify trends and bottlenecks and make improvements to the website.
  • Building marketing audiences to remarket to via platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

Our websites use CookieBot, which senses whether you have never visited this website before, and presents you with information about what cookies are in use on the website, allowing visitors to make an informed decision about whether they wish to accept the use of non essential cookies, and informing them how to delete their cookies if needed.

Our full cookies policy including what cookies are currently in use on our website can be found here.

Do You Collect My IP Address?

No – at least not directly, however if you submit further data via a submission form (eg, a contact form), we will attempt to collect your IP address.

For ordinary website visits where you do not purposefully submit information via the website, we use Google Analytics to examine the way in which users interact with our website, which will attribute a Client ID to your visit which may hold general location information about where your machine is (such as a town or city), but not your specific IP which is unavailable to us.

As mentioned above, if you decide you wish to make contact with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice by filling in a form on the website or using the livechat function, we will make an attempt to collect your IP address to aid in verifying the request for contact is genuine.

After I Visit Your Website, Will I See Adverts For Spencer Churchill Claims Advice Elsewhere Online?

We won’t show targetted adverts to you if you don’t consent to it.

If you wish to visit our website but you don’t wish us to include you in things like Facebook and Google audiences generated by website visits, you must tell us by removing (or never providing) consent using our cookies selection tool.

Upon your first visit to the website, you will be asked whether you wish to ‘Allow all cookies’ including the marketing cookies used for advertising campaigns, or just tell us to ‘use necessary cookies only’.

By doing so, you disable our ability to automatically use cookies to show you related adverts later because of your site visit.

If you previously consented to marketing cookies, but now wish to opt-out from seeing targeted advertisements from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice, you can do so by altering your cookies preferences by following this process:

  1. Visit our Cookies Policy Page here: https://getclaimsadvice.co.uk/cookies-policy/
  2. Part-way down the page, you will see a blue, highlighted two links inviting you to “change your consent” or “withdraw your consent”.
  3. Click which option you would prefer.

Note 1: Removing your consent for us to use the data collected on your visit to show you adverts on other platforms does NOT ensure you will never see an advert for Spencer Churchill Claims Advice. As part of our wider marketing strategy we may, from time to time, use Facebook and Google’s display advertising facility to show a broad spectrum of society our advertisements. Therefore, you may coincidentally see adverts for Spencer Churchill Claims Advice, but not as a result of your use of our website if you have opted out.

Note 2: You may also choose to delete your cookies from your browser at any time in your settings.

Is Your Website Secure?

We take our duties to secure your visit from prying eyes seriously. Although it may be unwise to go into the security measures we use on our website here, some things should be visible to you now.

For instance, we are secured by an SSL certificate, which means visits to the website go via https rather than http (the ‘S’ stands for secured). This means that data you submit through the website is encrypted for anybody watching you.

This is now a fairly standard part of website security, denoted by the small padlock you should see in the top-left of your browser next to the website address.

Securing the website via an SSL is just one of the many things we do to make your visit to our website secure, however whether the machine or account you are using to visit the website are secure is unknown to us, and outside of our control. It is good practice to ensure the security of your device by using appropriate firewalls, virus checkers and malware/spyware protection.

What Happens To Information Submitted Via The Website?

If you choose to submit personal data via the website such as your name, telephone number and/or email address, either through one of our contact forms or via our livechat/automated service, then the information will be collected, stored and processed in line with our privacy policy, which you should read before submitting any personal data.

The information will generally be used to contact you in regards to the stated reason you submitted the information. This is usually to answer a query you may have about your pension, pension claims or our business and services.

Afterwards, the data may added to more data you consensually submit to us as part of contracted claims services. Otherwise, the information may be retained for a time for our records and to fulfil legal obligations. You can see how we control and process data about you in the privacy policy, including about what rights you have regarding the data we collect, process and store about you.

Data Retention Policy

FAQs About Data Control & Processing

How Is My Information Stored?

If you have submitted personally identifiable information such as (but not exhaustively):

  • Your name
  • Your contact/address details
  • Your financial information
  • Your employment information

to Spencer Churchill Claims Advice or it’s advertising partners via any medium such as (but not exhaustively):

  • Email
  • Website contact form
  • Telephone conversation
  • Social Media

Then that information falls within the scope of our privacy policy and data protection obligations as a Data Controller.

In this case, your information is stored on password-secured systems, accessed via secure machines in our locked premises. We operate a strict IT policy to ensure the security and secrecy of passwords.

If we have a contract with you for claims services, we will obviously need to retain this data in order to fulfill our contractual obligations and share it only with those who it is essential.

Why Do You Need My Information?

Pension claims can be complex depending on the nature of what has happened. In order to properly assess and then process a successful mis-sold pension claim, a number of factors need to be taken into account.

This is because in most cases, the claim will for negligent financial advice. In order to assess and then effectively criticize that advice, we must first understand what basis it was made on – what information did the adviser have about their client on which to give advice?

Once we have the right information, which can include employment details, income, outgoings, health and risk tolerance reports, we can better assess whether a claim can be made.

Then we can use that information to make the claim.

Without sufficient information, we may not be able to proceed with a claim.

Who Do You Share My Information With?

This can change depending on how you’ve come across our services, and what sort of claim you will be making. You can see a list of third parties we deal with as standard on our privacy policy.

In most cases, we may be required to contact your previous or current pension provider or financial adviser in order to collect documentation on your behalf, and to make the claim itself (falling back on the FOS or FSCS in some situations).

Mis Sold Pensions


How Does Spencer Churchill Claims Advice Work?

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice’s processes are based around our clients, and our no upfront costs customer journey usually looks a little like this:

  • Take a Free Initial Assessment on the phone so our specialists can identify if it looks like you were mis-sold and can take the claim forward.
  • Decide whether you want to take things further: If we think you’ve been mis-sold, we can take you assessment further with a specialist case handler (again, on the phone).
  • Should it be a case we can work with, we will then offer to fight your claim on your behalf, with no upfront costs. We’ll send our fact-find, our terms of business and some LOAs to your address for you to sign if you want to go ahead.
  • Leave it with us: We’ll then get busy gathering the information, supporting documents and building your case, before taking it to the relevant party to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.
  • Results: We’ll chase down your results. In the event that we don’t win your case, then there’s no charge.

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

How Long Does A Mis-Sold Pension Claim Take?

The answer to this question all depends on how complex the case is, and who is involved.

If the negligent adviser/provider is still trading, you can imagine they may fight that claim to the death, and may make appeals even after an initial defeat, which can sometimes add months, if not years to a mis-sold pension claim.

We can give you an average time: between 16 and 24 weeks, however this can be quicker or much slowly depending on who we have to take the claim to.

Hands up – we won’t be able to give you an exact time-frame for your claim. What we can do is promise that we’ll chase it through to completion with urgency.

How Much Do You Charge For A Claim?

We only ever work on a no upfront fee basis.

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

Do You Have A Cooling-Off Period?

Of course!

When we send your paperwork out, you can take all the time you want to decide if you want to go ahead on a no upfront costs basis.

Even after you sign-up, you still have 14 days cooling off period, where cancellation of our services is free of charge, for any reason.

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

Is Spencer Churchill Claims Advice Regulated?

Registered Offices: Spencer Churchill Claims Advice, Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5AN Company Registration: 09051424.
Spencer Churchill Claims Advice is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Reg No. 831103. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website http://fca,org.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice is registered with the Information Commissioner (ICO) Registration Number ZA187898.

How Much Compensation Will I Get?

We’d love to give you an accurate idea of how much compensation your case is likely to win, but the truth is that it all depends on how much money you have lost, and who gave you the negligent advice where applicable.

We will however, always be looking to win you the maximum amount we can to help you recover any losses.

How Does Compensation Get Paid?

If you win compensation for your case, either from a Financial adviser, pension company, PI company, or through the FSCS or FOS, the monies will first be paid into our Laywer’s account, and then sent to you.

FAQs About Pension Mis-Selling & Claims


How Can I Tell If I Have Been Mis-Sold?

Pensions are notoriously one of the most complicated aspects of financial advice.

Many feel that it’s a jargon and rule-stuffed minefield, and because of this, many people like to speak to somebody who knows their stuff.

If you are worried that you may have been mis-sold, you can speak to an experienced case assessor on the phone, as part of our free initial assessment. 

It’s a chat with somebody who knows about pension mis-selling, who can guide you through to finding out if you may have a claim.

Don’t worry, even if you take our initial assessment there’s no obligation to make a claim with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice, although if we think you’ve got a claim, of course we’ll probably offer our claims services with no upfront costs – the choice is yours!

How Does Pension Mis-Selling Happen?

The list of reasons is endless, but usually it comes down to one of two things:

  • Negligence
  • Greed

Negligent financial advice is where a regulated financial adviser gets it wrong, and suggests that you take an action over your pension that leaves your worse off.

This could be transferring a Final Salary pension when you would have been better off leaving it where it was, or transferring to a SIPP full of high-risk investments you weren’t suitable for.

Greed can be a factor too. Thousands of cold-calls have been made to people to earn commission for selling bad pension transfers, usually offering a free pension review.

Either way, our team of specialists are great at finding the cause of mis-sold pensions, and where possible, fighting for a claim to recover any losses you may have experienced as a result of bad financial advice.

Who Pays Compensation For Mis-Sold Pensions?

It depends on who mis-sold your pension in the first place.

In most of the cases we deal with, it is a negligent financial adviser who is at fault.

They are (or should be) the first place we take a claim to, as if the claim is valid (and they agree to pay compensation), they will be the ones to pay the claim (or their PI insurer).

But as you can probably imagine, most of them don’t roll over and cough up compensation easily.

This means taking it to the Financial Ombudsman Service – an authority that can force advisers to pay compensation if they deem to them be at fault.


Many financial advisers who mis-sold peoples’ pensions didn’t stick around long after being caught out, and may close up or go into liquidation, making them unable to pay any more claims.

That’s when the FSCS often steps in to pay compensation on behalf of the company, but only to a maximum of £50,000 per claim.

What Is A SIPP?

A SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) is a type of pension scheme where the pension holder has greater choice over what investments they make with their pension.

Introduced in 1989, SIPPs can be used to invest in ordinary, low-risk investments, as well as high-risk and unregulated ones.

This is fine, providing the individual knows what they are doing, and can afford to take on such risk.

The problem begins when negligent or financial advisers or greedy salesmen persuade people to invest in high-risk investments for which they are not suitable for.

In some cases, people have lost hundreds-of-thousands from their retirement funds.

That’s where Spencer Churchill Claims Advice come in – fighting for compensation on behalf of our clients who have been mis-sold.

What Is An IFA?

IFA stands for Independent Financial Adviser – a firm that should be qualified to give financial advice, and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to give that advice.

You can check if a company is regulated by the FCA by looking on the FCA register.

Always check that you are dealing with a regulated financial adviser before taking action over your pension – there are some sharks out there!

What Is The Difference Between SERPSs And SIPPs

Easy and common mistake.

SERP: State Earnings-Related Pension – an old government-ran pension scheme that finished in 2002.

SIPP: Self Invested Personal Pension – a private pension that allows holders to take control over what they invest their pension in.

Spencer Churchill Claims Advice deals with Mis-Sold SIPP claims, but doesn’t handle SERPs.

What Is A SIPP Administrator / Provider

SIPP Administrator / Provider is a company who “manages” your SIPP pension for you. They should keep you regularly informed of the value of your pension, and make you aware of any changes to it.

You will likely pay them a regular fee.

Is The Compensation Taxable?

Compensation awarded specifically for mis-sold pensions is not taxable, however you may wish to consider your other financial obligations and situation. Mis-sold Endowment compensation on the other hand may be taxable as it may be connected to your home.

What Is A Final Salary Pension Transfer?


What Is A Final Salary Pension Lump Sum

Within a final salary pension scheme, it may be possible to access a lump sum of tax free cash once you reach a certain age (usually 55).

Lump sums at 55 are often available from both final salary pensions and other personal pensions, and usually have a tax-free limit of up to 25% of the total value, however it may depend on other circumstances too.

Some people are advised to transfer their pension away from final salary pension schemes to get better access to a lump-sum. However, this is seldom a good enough reason on it’s own to transfer, and may be part of a scam.

Should I Transfer My Final Salary Pension To A SIPP?

It is always important to get the advice of a regulated financial adviser when considered a final salary pension transfer, regardless of where the pension might be transferred too.

SIPPs allow a greater range of control over what the pension is invested in, but this can include high-risk and non-FCA regulated investments that may be unsuitable for you, or may even be scams.

Many transfers from final salary pensions into SIPPs lose money instead of gaining it, and may have been mis-sold.

Should I Cash In My Final Salary Pension?

Final salary pensions are considered to be both rare and valuable, offering a guaranteed income in retirement.

When people talk about “cashing in” their pension, they may mean transferring it to another personal pension (swapping the guaranteed income for a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value – CETV), or they might mean coming out of the pensions altogether and realising the cash.

If you are considering “cashing in” your final salary pension, you should consult with a regulated financial adviser, ensuring they are FCA authorised by using the Financial Conduct Authority register, as cashing in can sometimes produce big tax bills or may be a pensions liberation scam.

If you’ve already transferred, you may be eligible to make a mis-sold pension claim.

Final Salary Pension And Early Retirement

Some people are advised to transfer their final salary pension for early retirement. This may be considered suitable in some fairly rare circumstances, but may not be needed.

Many final salary schemes may allow early retirement at the trustee’s discretion, or in the event of ill health and/or a shortened life expectancy.

If you transferred your pension for this reason alone, you may have been mis-sold.

Final Salary Pension Advice

Getting final salary pension advice needn’t be a minefield. By seeking out a regulated financial advice, the advice they give must follow the FCA’s rules and guidelines.

If not, then it may be you can hold the financial adviser accountable by making a mis-sold pension claim.

How Much Does Final Salary Pension Transfer Advice Cost?

Costs for final salary pension transfer advice vary from adviser to adviser. Some may charge a standard fee, and others may charge a percentage of the pension they are transferring.

In some cases, they may also charge for investment advice for the transfer, and may take ongoing management fees.

But how much will a final salary pension transfer cost? If you’ve taken negligent advice, it could cost thousands in losses and in some cases an entire retirement fund.

Find out if you can make a claim through a free chat with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice.

Final Salary Pension Transfer Specialist

Finding a final salary pension transfer specialist shouldn’t be tricky – there are plenty of them around advertising heavily.

Just make sure that you check they are authorised to give pension advice via the FCA register.

Sadly, even regulated advisers get it wrong, so if you’ve transferred your pension, speak to the mis-sold final salary pension transfer claims specialists at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice for a free initial assessment – you may be able to claim!

What Are The Benefits Of Transferring A Final Salary Pension?

Transfer advice should be very bespoke to each person, and so what an individual stands to lose or benefit from a final salary pension transfer changes.

However, many defined benefit transfers may be sold to scheme members on some of these potential benefits:

  • Greater investment choice
  • Opportunity to grow pension faster (however this entails more risk)
  • Greater flexibility
  • High transfer values (many schemes offer a high CETV)
  • Changes to death benefits (it may be beneficial for some people who wish to select other beneficiaries to receive their pension if they should die before retirement).

But there is a huge flip-side to these benefits

What Are The Risks Of Transferring A Final Salary Pension?

Transferring a final salary pension usually means giving up a guaranteed income in retirement, one that is often index-linked and increases the longer the scheme member works for the company and the bigger the salary when they retire.

Generous death benefits are sometimes lost too, where a spouse may receive a large portion of the pension in the event of death before retirement.

Often called ‘Gold-Plated’ pensions, they are considered a safer and more solid foundation for retirement.

But by transferring out, many people end up investing the money through their pension back into the stock-market, which as we all know, can go wrong and regularly does!

Investments can decrease in value as well as increase, and they don’t always grow inline with the critical yield, meaning that even if the pension looks like it was growing, it may never be worth as much as the final salary pension.

Sadly, it is not unheard of for people to lose their entire pension funds by transferring and investing in stocks that later collapse or get into trouble!

Many people were mis-sold their final salary pension transfers, and you may be able to make a claim if you transferred yours like in our mis-sold pension case studies – check out our complaints letters page.

Pension Introducers


Why Was Cold-Calling About Pensions Banned?

Pension cold-calling was banned because it was not only a nuisance to a lot of people, but it was also the start of a wave a pension mis-selling, particularly into SIPP pensions.

Those ‘free pension reviews’ only remained free if the pension saver didn’t transfer, so in order to get paid, high-pressure sales tactics were often used, creating a sense of urgency and skimming over important facts (such as the risk they would be exposed to).

Often, the higher-risk investment funds paid the most commission, so cold-callers would direct people to those investments, playing up the potential benefits while underselling the risks.

Of course, this should have been caught by the financial advisers reviewing each transfer. Sadly, due to either negligence or greed, many people made unsuitable high-risk pension transfers and lost money.

The ban came into effect in January 2019 after years of petitioning and investigations, including input from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice. https://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/news/forestry-scheme-highlights-growing-role-of-introducers/a911728

How Do Pension Introducers Make Money?

Many pension introducers used to make cold-calls offering free pension reviews. These reviews were often agreed to because they didn’t cost the client anything unless a better and more profitable pension arrangement was suggested.

So some pension introducers used to make sure that one was always on the table – usually a high-risk investment based abroad that would earn them big commission and offer big returns to the clients.

Of course, in order to get the client to commit to the transfer and investment, they didn’t always make a song and dance about the risks involved, and had a financial adviser on standby to greenlight the transfer.

In some cases, a transfer to a high-risk SIPP may net the marketing company thousands, as well as money for the IFA and new pension provider, while often putting the pension saver at more risk than they were.

Has The FCA Taken Action Over Pension Introducers?

The FCA doesn’t regulate most pension introducers involved in pension mis-selling, which makes direct action against them difficult unless they are conducting regulated activities without authorisation.

However they can control the financial advisers who deal with them, and have regularly told certain advisers to cease their relationships with cold-calling firms.

We can’t make claims against unregulated pension introducers in the same way as advisers, as the buck tends to stop with the company giving the advice, not the one introducing them to the process.

Pension Providers And Mis-Sold Pension Claims


What Is A QROPS?

A QROPS is a Qualifying Overseas Pension Scheme, and they are really supposed to be for people who are planning to take their pension abroad with them.

Like SIPPs, they can hold a wide range of investments, including the high-risk and unregulated ones that often pose a risk to people’s retirements.

QROPS pensions can be mis-sold too, for instance if they person has no intention to move abroad with their pension, and the adviser suggests it just so it can be filled with high-risk investments the client is not suitable for.

What Is A SSAS?

Another SIPP-like product, a SSAS stands for Small Self-Administrated Scheme, and they can sometimes hold high-risk and unregulated products too!

They can be more handy for small business owners, and setting one up in your name usually means you’ll be listed as a company director!

After many people began to catch-on to the mis-selling of SIPPs, some unregulated introducers and advisers began to use SSAS pensions as their vehicle of choice for scams.

Did My Pension Provider Give Me Advice?

While some pension providers may have a side of the company that gives advice, many SIPP, SSAS and QROPS providers are simply there to administrate the pension rather than guide the owner on how to run it.

Usually, an independent financial adviser was the one advising on both the pension provider, and the underlying investments.

The Mis-Sold Pension Claims Process


How Long Does It Take To Process A Mis-Sold Pension Claim?

Every claim is different, and there are a number of factors that can lead to a relatively short or long claim process, including (but not exclusively)…

  • Whether the financial adviser is still operating
  • Whether they accept the claim
  • How fast paperwork can be gathered

How Long Do I Wait For My Compensation?

Assuming your claim is accepted, how long before a compensation claim is settled and paid depends on a number of factors.

Usually, the longest wait is to have the claim accepted, as it may mean collecting information and fighting the case with the negligent party, or making the case to the FOS or FSCS.

If the claim is accepted by the FOS or FSCS, it could be weeks or months depending on who is set to pay the compensation.

In rare cases compensation offers for mis-sold pensions are best counted in weeks, however it may be months or in rare cases years for the claim to be completed from start to finish.

Usually, once the compensation figure has been agreed on, things tend to take less than a month before the compensation is paid.

How Do I Know If I Have Got A Pension Claim?

Pensions are often full of jargon, confusing relationships and regulation, which may cause some people to struggle to identify if they have a mis-sold pension claim.

If you transferred a pension such as a defined benefit pension, or transferred into a SIPP, SSAS or QROPS then you qualify for a FREE initial assessment with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice. We’ll listen to your pension story, make enquiries and let you know if we think you have a claim.

How Much Compensation Does A Mis-Sold Pension Claim Pay?

Assuming you have a valid claim, it all depends on a number of factors, including how much you’ve lost, how much you may lose in the future, and any compensation limits that might apply.

Everything depends on the details of the exact claim!

Can I Complete The Pension Claims Process Myself?

Anybody who wants to complete their claim themselves is free to do so, either to the responsible firm, or to the Financial Ombudsman and/or the FSCS (whichever is applicable given the circumstances). Doing so is free.

You can find details about pension claim template letters here.

I Transferred My Pension Years Ago, Can I Still Claim For A Mis-Sold Pension?

Most of the mis-sold pension claims we  can deal with a Spencer Churchill Claims Advice involve pension transfers and investments that happened between 1994, right up to last year!

Consumer Money Matters And SIPPs


How Successful Are Consumer Money Matters Complaints?

Consumer Money Matters was never a regulated financial adviser, and therefore complaints relating to pension transfers and investment advice are not directed at CMM, but at a financial adviser whose job it would have been to give suitable advice.

The firm is no-longer trading.

Was Consumer Money Matters A Financial Adviser?

No. In order to give advice on things like pension and investments, a firm should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to do so.

Instead, Consumer Money Matters was what we call an unregulated introducer – a marketing company that exists to get attention and introduce people to new pension arrangements.

In many cases, these types of companies cold-called prospective clients in order to drum up interest – a practice that has been banned since Jan 2019.

What Is Carrington Carr?

Carrington Carr marketing services is the original name of Consumer Money Matters, but also the name of the parent company (Carrington Carr Group Services Limited).

Reyker Securities FAQ's


Can I Make A Claim Relating To Reyker Securities?

If you dealt with Reyker Securities for any reason, we hope you’ll get in touch with the team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice and help you discover if you may have been mis-sold by Reyker, a SIPP provider or a financial adviser.

What Is A DFM?

A Discretionary Fund Manager builds portfolios of investments to satisfy a variety of investment strategies. Investors may then place their money with a DFM with a view to growing their money. However, all investments carry risk, and some are high-risk.

Dolphin Trust SIPP Claims


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold An The Dolphin Trust Investment?

Because Dolphin Trust was a high-risk and unregulated investment, the risk should have been made clear to potential investors – especially if they stood to lose their pension. The advisor should also have ensured the client had enough investment experience and money to undertake the risk.

Unfortunately, many advisers failed to perform their due diligence on the investment and their clients, leading to many mis-sold Dolphin Trust pensions.

To that end, if you suspect you may have been given careless advice to transfer your pension, or feel the advisor failed to make you aware of all of the potential pitfalls, we’d like to hear from you.

How Long Will My Dolphin Trust Claim Take To Come Through?

This depends. Some claims could take as much as a few months, while others could last years. To get a better idea of how long your claim could take to come through, get in touch with one of friendly advisor today.

How Can I Get Compensation For A Mis-Sold Dolphin Trust Investment?

If you were advised to move your pension to a SIPP in order to invest in Dolphin Trust, you might be owed compensation.

If you’d prefer, you can make a direct claim to your provider, or the FOS. However, if your advisor is no longer in business, you might be able to get compensation from the FSCS.

To find out if you could make a claim, request a free no-obligation call back from one of our experts today.

Is Dolphin Trust Still Running?

Yes – Dolphin Trust now operates as German Property Group (GPG).

Gas Verdant Australian Farm Land Investment Claims


Can The FCA Act Over Gas Verdant

Gas Verdant was originally based in Cyprus, then Mauritius and the farms themselves are in Australia – 3 countries outside of the jurisdiction of the FCA. The FCA can only look into companies like this if it believes they may have performed regulated activities without authorisation.

In most successful cases involving mis-sold high-risk investments similar to Gas Verdant, the claim goes against a regulated adviser if they did not perform their duties correctly.

Who Are CL&P Brokers?

Some people may have been introduced to their SIPP and Gas Verdant investment via CL&P Brokers – an unregulated marketing company based in Spain. As far as we can tell, they are no-longer operating.

J Richfield T/As Sovereign Financial Services Claims


What Is J Richfield Ltd?

J Richfield Ltd was the actual name of the financial advice firm that traded as Sovereign Financial Services. It is quite common for a company to have a trading name or trading style, but officially, the firm as J Richfield Ltd.

Why Land Banks And Carbon Credits?

We may never know why Sovereign gave unsuitable advice to their clients to invest in High-Risk investment schemes like Land Banks and Carbon Credits.

We do know that other advisers that have done the same may have benefited from high-end commissions: kick backs from the investment companies to funnel business their way, but as for Sovereign, we simply don’t know.

Either way, the advice was unsuitable, and if you did the same, you may be able to make a claim.

Beaufort Securities Claims Guide


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold Beaufort Securities?

There are many ways that you could have a mis-selling claim relating to Beaufort Securities depending on how and what you did with them.

Because Beaufort operated a SIPP business, it could be that you were mis-sold that SIPP by a financial adviser in the investments inside were not suitable for you.

Or if you invested via Beaufort DFM, that could be another type of case.

It all depends on your circumstances, what advice you received, and what the outcome has been.

You can speak to one of our case assessors with a FREE call-back to find out more. There’s no obligation, just a chat with a friendly professional claims handler.

Is Beaufort Securities A Scam?

That would be a matter for the authorities. A ‘Scam’ implies criminal activity, and it is true that people related to Beaufort have been investigated by the US Department of Justice related to various conspiracies.

However for most people, it may be that they have simply been mis-sold their Beaufort Securities products due to negligent financial advice, for which they can make a claim against the advice.

What Is The FSCS And How Are They Connected To Beaufort?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS for short) is the ‘lifeboat fund’, setup to pay compensation when firms that should be liable to cough-up cannot.

When the FCA declared Beaufort Securities insolvent, the FSCS would almost automatically become likely to pay claims made against the firm.

If you want to know if you can make a FSCS claim over Beaufort Securities, get in touch on 01204 929929 for a free initial assessment.

Elysian Fuels Claims Guide


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold A Elysian Fuels Investment?

Elysian Fuels was always a high-risk investment and should never have been suggested to many of the people who ended up invested.

Unregulated investments MAY have been considered suitable for people who are earning over £100k per year, or people who have a wealth of knowledge and experience about investing.

If not, the advice may well have been unsuitable, and it could be that a claim is possible.

So Elysian Fuels Was Always High-Risk?

Yup! It’s part of an unregulated industry, which means the FCA isn’t looking over it’s shoulder. If you took financial advice to invest in it, you adviser should have known this, made you aware of it, and checked it was suitable for you.

If not, it could be time to make a claim.

What Happens With My Tax?

Tax is a complex topic, but how you may or may not be taxed with Elysian Fuels depends on your circumstances and what you did with your Elysian Fuels investment.

How Can I Make A Claim For Elysian Fuels

Whether or not you can make a claim over an Elysian Fuels investment all depends on how you invested and what advice you received.

Several Financial Advisers have been held accountable for negligent advice to invest in Elysian Fuels via SIPPs, and SIPP Provider James Hay has made headlines about it several times.

Make use of the knowledge and experience of the team at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice with a FREE initial assessment – a no-obligation chat with a specialist who may be able to help you work out if you can claim.

The Cool Blue Samui Related Claims Guide


How Much Compensation For Cool Blue Can I Get?

How much compensation you may be able to claim depends on several factors, including whether your claim is eligible, how much you invested, how much you lost and who may have given you advice.

Plenty of claims go through for mis-sold high-risk SIPP investments, some worth a few thousand, some worth £50,000* (The maximum that can often be claimed via the FSCS if a financial adviser is no-longer operating), and a few that stretched into the hundreds of thousands.

Its always difficult to say how much compensation a claim could be worth until its done, but if you were sold Cool Blue as part of a SIPP investment, your initial assessment phonecall with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice is free when you use our call-back service, and you may be able to proceed

Are There Investments Linked To Cool Blue?

Not nessecarily by ownership, but sometimes financial advisers gave advice on batches of high-risk investments within SIPPs.

Cool Blue is in the same SIPP as the Marbella Resort & Spa PLC bond and Venture Oils in the past, although this is no guarantee that the SIPP was mis-sold.

Can I Make A Claim Against Cool Blue Or A Marketing Firm?

In most cases, the investments the team can deal with at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are not regulated by the FCA, and therefore not subject to many of the rules that make a claim possible. It’s the same with a lot of the cold-calling marketing companies that often introduce people to these investments.

That being said, regulated entities such as a financial adviser or SIPP provider may be subject to FCA’s rules, and a claim may be brought against them if it can be shown that the broke these rules.

First Review Pension Services & The Resort Group


Was First Review Pension Services FCA Regulated?

No, First Review Pension Services was not regulated to give financial advice.

It simply cold-called potential investors to introduce them to the idea of reviewing their pensions. It served as a marketing firm to funnel business towards the Resort Group.

In many cases, a regulated financial adviser like CIB Life & Pensions actually gave advice, and may be able to be held accountable if the advice was negligent.

Is The Resort Group FCA Regulated?

Again, no. Based in Gibraltar, floated originally on the Mauritius Stock Exchange, and with physical assets in Cape Verde, the FCA does not regulated The Resort Group.

However, the FCA did send many Resort Group investors a questionnaire back in 2017.

As New Model adviser understands, the questionnaire was sent by the FCA’s ‘Unauthorised Business Division‘ to see whether any regulated activity was conducted by unauthorised parties.

The Ultimate Store First Related Claims Guide


Can I Make A Claim To Store First?

The main issue with Store First investments is now what the investment is or what has happened to it (it was always a high-risk investment), but how it was sold.

Negligence on the part of some financial advisers (and possibly some SIPP providers – yet to be decided by ongoing court cases) is usually to blame for the mis-selling of Store First through SIPPs.

Now, Store First Limited is in liquidation.

Who Are Group First?

Group First is the parent company of Store First. They are also not regulated by the FCA.

What About The Guaranteed Buy Back?

We are aware that some investments with Store First stated a buy-back clause. We are still waiting to hear if any investors ever managed to enforce this clause.

Sustainable Agroenergy SIPP Claims


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold A Sustainable Agroenergy Investment?

If you can see Sustainable Agroenergy on your SIPP pension statement, and you weren’t earning over £100k per year, or a sophisticated investor, but a financial adviser told you to invest, you may well have been mis-sold and could be able to make a claim.

The fact that the investment was fraudulent should give you some idea.

What Happened To The Directors Of Sustainable Agroenergy?

Gary West, James Whale and Stuart Stone were convicted of 5 Fraud and Bribery charges in 2014. Stone received 6 years, and the three were later ordered to pay a confiscation order totalling £1.36m.

Mis-Sold Cadnam Plot Claims Guide


How Do Land Banks Like The Cadnam Plot Work?

In theory, Land Banks work like any other property investment.

Usually, an analysis of land in the area shows that ongoing or potential commercial or residential construction in the area seems likely, meaning it could be that the price of land in the area may increase over the next few years.

Land Banking is the practice of buying up land that is suspected to rise in value at a lower price, to sell it later at a higher price.

While this practice may be done personally, in other cases Land Banking Schemes may be created where multiple people invest in the last in order to purchase it. Some of the money may be used to then market the land to potential buyers.

What Can Go Wrong With Land-Banking Schemes?

Land-Banking is considered to be a high-risk investment. Not regulated by the FCA, the regulator is not usually looking over the shoulder of land-banking schemes.

More practically, the land may not increase in value like it was expected to due to changes in the economy, a particular industry or the political landscape.

In other cases, the land may turn out to be protected due to wildlife concerns or via local petition, or may turn out to be polluted making it unsuitable for certain projects.

Sometimes, these land banking schemes have turned out to be scams, with multiple people purchasing ownership of the same strip of land over and over again.

Overseas Property Investments And SIPP Claims


Does The Claim Go Against The Investment?


Most of these firms are based abroad and are not regulated by the FCA. It is not the job of the investment company to judge who is suitable to invest.

That role falls to financial advisers, and if you took advice that could prove to be negligent, then there may be a claim to be made against the adviser.

Is This Like A Timeshare?

Most of the investments commonly seen are being mis-sold through SIPPs were straight up investments, but one or two sometimes included a timeshare element.

In terms of making a claim, the important part if to work out if financial advice was provided, and whether it is negligent. In this respect, these investments are often very different from a timeshare.

What Is A SIPP?


Can I Withdraw Money From My SIPP?

SIPPs are a type of pension, and therefore are designed for use in retirement. Withdrawing your money may be possible before normal retirement age, however there are likely to be large tax implications.

Anybody looking to withdraw money from their SIPP should seek advice from a regulated financial adviser before doing so.

In some cases, money may become effectively ‘trapped’ in an illiquid investment, where in order to release the money the investment must be sold, but no buyer can be found.

What Are The Benefits Of A SIPP?

The main selling point of SIPPs is greater investment choice. Many people either want to take on greater risk to potentially grow their pension faster. Others want to invest in an industry they know well because they feel confident placing their money in it.

Others take advice from financial advisers, however in some cases the advice is negligent or even fraudulent, and people can end up losing money through unsuitable SIPP investments.

Who Is Eligible For A SIPP?

Many people may be suitable for a SIPP, and usually this is down to a regulated financial adviser to advise on.

Some investments accessible via SIPPs may NOT be suitable however. Many high-risk investments are only considered suitable for somebody who is a sophisticated investor, or a high net-worth individual due to the risk the investments present.

What Are The Tax Implications Of A SIPP?

SIPPs qualify for up to 45% tax relief on the money you pay into them, depending on your circumstances.

Many tax implications are applicable depending on your circumstances, what you invest in, and what you want to do. Seeking independent financial advice is often a good idea before making decisions that may effect tax.

How Much Do SIPPs Cost?

With many SIPPs, there are different costs to consider. Some SIPPs may be free to set up, whereas others may cost a few hundred.

Annual charges vary too, either a flat-rate or a percentage.

Fund Fees may also be applicable, sometimes a few percent each year.

Finally, Exit Fees for leaving the SIPP or withdrawing money will again vary.

The Ultimate EOS Solar Related Claims Guide


What Is EOS Solar Invested In?

Described in an FOS decision against a financial adviser, EOS Solar is: “Invested in Solar Thermal power development in Cyprus, to sell electricity at a fixed price over a 25 year period”

However, updates via Glenmuir investments seem to indicate it has more to do with holiday rentals and sales of property.

Either way, EOS Solar investments are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and are therefore considered to be a high-risk investment.

I Was Cold-Called To Invest, Can I Make A Claim?

A common way people find themselves with high-risk investments like EOS solar is after receiving a cold-call and free pension review, resulting in a transfer to a SIPP pension in order to make the investment.

Usually, it is a marketing company that called – something we can’t do anything about as they are not regulated by the FCA.

However, if they referred you to a financial adviser to take advice and they got it wrong, then there could be a claim in it for you.

The Ultimate Archer Bramley Ltd Management Claims Guide


Can I Make A Claim Against Archer Bramley

Not directly as Archer Bramley Ltd is long-gone after going into insolvency proceedings in 2014.

However, because they were regulated by the FCA, the advice they gave may have been covered by the FSCS.

Please note: No Win – No Fee*: Successful claims made through Spencer Churchill Claims Advice are subject to the Success Fee, charged as per your terms of business and engagement letter of any monies awarded to the claim. Clients have a 14 day “Cooling-Off” period during which time they may cancel at any time without charge. After this time, cancellation will result in the application of the Cancellation Fee.

*Figures calculated before deduction of Success Fee and taxes

Who Are Wallwood Independent?

Wallwood Independent was a financial advice firm – more technically, they were an Authorised Representative – a company that acts on behalf of a principal firm.

In this case, Wallwood acted on behalf of Archer Bramley Ltd for a couple of years, and is known to have been involved in some negligent transfers to SIPPs.

The Resort Group SIPP Claims


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold The Resort Group Investment?

We’d have to take a look at your potential claim to be sure, but essential it comes down to RISK PROFILES.

Every investment has a risk category, and every individual investor has a risk profile. For an adviser to consider an investment suitable, the risk profile has to match the risk of the investment – simple!

The Resort Group was always a high-risk investment, and as such, advisers should have only been telling people who understood the risks, had enough investment experience, and had enough money to undertake the risk.

Many advisers failed to perform their due diligence on the investment and their clients, leading to many mis-sold Resort Group pensions.

Why Is The Resort Group Cape Verde High Risk?

Being both registered and based abroad, The Resort Group is NOT regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). It means that the FCA isn’t looking over its shoulder.

How Is First Review Pension Services Involved?

As with many high-risk SIPP investments, many of the Resort Group investors were introduced to the investment and pension switch by an unregulated marketing company who cold-called them.

In the case of the Resort Group, one such company called First Review Pension Services was actually part of the same group of companies as the investment, described by a Resort Group statement as part of their “sales and marketing arm”.

How Can I Get Compensation For A Mis-Sold Resort Group Investment?

If you took negligent financial advice to invest in The Resort Group, or simply moved your pension to a SIPP in order to invest, then you maybe able to get Compensation.

If your adviser is still operating then you can make a complaint directly to them, or through the FOS, or if the adviser is no-longer running the FSCS may pay you compensation.

Speak with a specialist at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice for a free, no-obligation discussion about your potential claim.

Is The Resort Group Still Running?

In short, yes. However many investors have reported that they have not had their returns paid for months at a time.

AIGO Funds Investment Claims


What Did The AIGO Funds Do?

A loan note would be provided in turn for an investment in one of the one primary AIGO funds. The money was then supposed to be invested in Residential and/or commercial properties, Natural Resources or equity schemes.

What happened is unclear, but we know that coupon payments back to investors were missed, and the fund was suspended from the Mauritius Stock Exchange.

Later, the FCA took action against the Holding Company too.

Who Are Hennessy Jones?

Hennessy Jones Limited was an appointed representative of both Henderson Carter Associates and Financial Page Ltd, both advisers linked to the mis-selling of the AIGO funds.

The FCA has stated previously that it had concerns about introducer firms for AIGO, such as Holistic Wealth Management, City Administration Limited and Hennessy Jones.

Can I Make A Claim Against The AIGO Funds?

The AIGO funds themselves are not regulated by the FCA, so you cannot make a claim against the funds in the same way you might make a claim against and adviser for negligent financial advice.

Many people have received tens-of-thousands of pounds in compensation from making claims against the negligent advice of an IFA for telling them an AIGO investment would be suitable for them.

Can I Sell My AIGO Investment?

With the investment removed from the stock exchange, and the holding firm told not to jettison any assets without expressed permission, it may be unlikely that the investment is ‘liquid’ enough to sell.

Henderson Carter Associates And Mis-Sold SIPPs


Is Henderson Carter Still Operating?


The firm was told to cease all pension business by the FCA, declared in default by the FSCS and went into liquidation in March 2017.

Who Are Hennessy Jones?

The FCA told Henderson Carter Associates not cease all pension business, giving special mention to concerns ‘with respect to the adequacy of the Firm’s pensions advice, including, but not limited to its relationship with (i) Holistic Wealth Management Limited […] (ii) Hennessy Jones Limited […].

Hennessy Jones Limited was an appointed representative of Henderson Carter Associates of Henderson Carter between Dec 2013 and March 2015, but is no-longer registered as an appointed representative (AR).

It was also an AR of Financial Page Ltd between Sept 2014 and July 2015 – another financial advice firm connected to the mis-selling of the AIGO funds.

Los Pandos Martin Clews Claims


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold A Los Pandos Investment?

Los Pandos is based abroad, which means that it is NOT regulated by the FCA.

This can be a big deal, as firms that don’t have the FCA peering over their shoulder can get up to all-sorts.

That doesn’t mean that Los Pandos is a bad investment for everyone.

But it does mean that financial advisers should only be considering it to be a suitable investment for certain wealthy people with lots of investment experience: those who can understand and manage the risk, and those who can afford to take the hit if things go wrong.

If you were advised to invest in Los Pandos, speak to a claims handler at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice for a free chat – you may be able to claim!

Why A SIPP Claim?

SIPPs can be a great way to save for retirement, especially for people who want to ‘DIY’ their pension by choosing their own investments.

But they can also be used to sell unsuspecting people high-risk investments, often without them noticing until years later.

The practice was widespread with negligent advisers and greedy marketing firms over the last 15 years, and we’ve come across mis-sold SIPPs with Los Pandos in before.

Usually, the client invested in Los Pandos after receiving a cold-call and a free pension review.

What Is Gas Verdant?

As far as we know, the GAS Verdant (Australian Farmland) investment has nothing at all to do with Los Pandos, however they were often sold together.

Like Los Pandos, GAS Verdant is also a high-risk and non-FCA regulated investment.

Can't I Just Withdraw My Los Pandos Investment?

You’re welcome to try speaking to a financial adviser or your SIPP company if you want to explore this option, but it may not be possible.

Because the investment has been/was struggling, there may be no money to withdraw, or the investment may have become illiquid like many unregulated investments.

The Ultimate Carbon Credits Related Claims Guide


Why Did So Many People Invest In Carbon Credits?

From speaking to many Carbon Credits investors, there are 3 main reasons that so many people invested in Carbon Credits as part of SIPPs:

  1. High projected returns: While many regulated investments may be lucky to see 4% returns, some carbon Credits investments were offering 8% or more. Many people wanted more money in retirement, but many were unaware that these higher projected returns came with more risk.
  2. Save the world: Rightly so, many of us are becoming more and more concerned with the effects of global warming. Carbon Credits not only promised high returns but came with the feeling that the investor was doing something good – an attractive proposition to many.
  3. Bad financial advice: If the first two selling points weren’t enough to convince a potential investor, a regulated financial adviser, usually assisted by a marketing company telling the investor it was a good decision did the trick. Not everyone was suitable, and many advisers got it wrong.

What Is The Relationship Between SIPPs And Carbon Credits?

SIPPs (Self-Invested Personal Pensions) offer pension savers a wider choice of investments than many other personal pensions. For a time, this included Carbon Credits despite their non-standard nature.

It wasn’t just Carbon Credits either. Many financial advisers mis-sold a huge variety of high-risk investments via SIPPs over the past 2 decades, leading to losses for investors stretching well into the millions of pounds.

Many investors fought back by making SIPP claims, but many are yet to do so.

How To Claim - Carbon Credits

Sadly, not everyone who lost money in Carbon Credits investments may be able to make a claim.

But if you took advice to invest from a regulated financial adviser and the advice given was unsuitable, then there could be a claim in it for you.

If you’re not sure, take a free chat with a case assessors from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice.

Each claim started with a free initial assessment on the phone to test the claim’s eligibility, and proceeded on a No Win – No Fee* basis.

Colonial Capital Administration Claims Guide


Why Was Colonial Capital High-Risk?

With assets based abroad, Colonial Capital was not regulated by the FCA in the same way as many standard stock market investments.

Considered to be a non-standard investment, it was automatically in the high-risk category, despite what a financial adviser may have told you.

What Is A SIPP?

A Self-Invested Personal Pension is a type of private pension that allows a greater range of investments.

Because many SIPPs allow high-risk investments, they are often mis-sold by financial advisers who failed to consider whether the investments were suitable for their client, therefore exposing them to more risk than is suitable for them.

Can I Claim Against Colonial Capital?

Unlikely, as the company itself is now in voluntary liquidation. However if a financial adviser negligently adviser you to invest, there may be a route to a claim.

Pointon York SIPP Claims Guide


Are Pointon York Still Operating?

No, they agreed the sale of their SIPP book to Curtis Banks back in 2014, and remain “authorised – in liquidation” on the FCA register.

I Used To Have A Pointon York SIPP, Now I'm With Crescent Trustees?

Yes, that’s perfectly possible. Pointon York sold their SIPP accounts to Crescent Trustees some years ago. You can still check to see if your original Pointon York pension was mis-sold to you with a FREE initial assessment with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice.

I Had Carbon Credits In My Pointon York SIPP?

Carbon Credits are a high-risk, non FCA regulated investment. Designed to save the world from climate change while making investors a tidy profit, many of these schemes (and indeed the carbon market as a whole) collapsed some years ago, making many of them valueless.

You may still be able to make a claim for any losses caused by your Carbon Credits investment, just get in touch for a free initial assessment.

Is Pointon York Covered By The FSCS?

It depends on what you mean by ‘covered’. As an FCA regulated firm they were covered by FSCS compensation for consumers for many things, but not for Financial Advice.

Usually in the case of mis-sold SIPPs, the responsibility for mis-selling rests with the FInancial Adviser.

However as the FSCS says itself, “SIPP operator due diligence has been an industry hot-topic in recent years and the FSCS is aware that there are a number of pending civil claims in the high court […]”

The results of these high-court cases may effect whether FSCS claims against Pointon York will become a factor in the near future.

What Is An FSAVC?


Can I Transfer A FSAVC To A Company Pension?

Answering questions like this is why good financial advice is really important. ALWAYS seek independent advice from a regulated adviser before making changes to your pension arrangements.

In short, it may be possible to transfer an FSAVC to a company pension, but it will depend on a number of factors determined by the FSAVC provider, the desintation scheme and the pension holder, making getting the right advice and doing your research all the more important.

Can You Transfer An FSAVC To A Personal Pension?

Broadly speaking, an FSAVC IS a personal pension – something of a personal add-on to an occupational pension. Again, transfers between FSAVC providers and other personal pensions may or may not be possible depending on the circumstances.

What Happens To An AVC If You Die?

As with most personal pensions, holders of FSAVCs should have designated a beneficiary in the event of death before pensionable age. Check with your FSAVC provider to ensure this has been done in your case.

The Ultimate Freedom Bay Investment Related Claims Guide


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold A Freedom Bay Investment?

All investments carry risk, but some are high-risk and Freedom Bay is one of them.

Financial advisers when considering a pension transfer, switch to a SIPP or investment need to consider if the risk of the investment matches up with their client’s risk-profile.

Not everyone has the experience needed to make an informed decision about Freedom Bay, or the money to recover from a situation where their pension fund has collapsed.

For the average investor, Freedom Bay would not likely have been a suitable investment, and if you placed your SIPP money into St Lucia’s never-built resort, you may be able to make a claim

Why Is The Resort Group Cape Verde High Risk?

Like all overseas property schemes, Freedom Bay is not regulated by the FCA, putting it in the high-risk category.

Why Is Freedom Bay Not Built?

Good question!

A 2017 update from Margretoute Hotels blamed the lack of progress on the St Lucian government.

Now, the main firm is in receivership, and the question of whether Freedom Bay will ever be complete is still in question.

How Can I Get Compensation For A Mis-Sold Freedom Bay Investment?

If you can prove that your financial adviser gave your negligent advice to invest, then you may be able to claim compensation over Freedom Bay.

Speak with a specialist at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice for a free, no-obligation discussion about your potential claim.

The Ultimate Cherish Wealth Management Claims Guide


What Is The Connection Between Cherish Wealth Management And InvestUS?

Real Estate Investments USA and Cherish Wealth Management both shared the same director, Steven Edward Wright, but not at the same time.

Wright left Cherish Wealth Management and became a director of Real Estate Investments USA. Cherish then advised (often unsuitably leading to claims) on many SIPP investments in Real Estate Investments USA.

Is Real Estate Investments USA High-Risk?

InvestUS/Real Estate Investments USA/Exit Strategy are all considered to be high-risk investments because they are not regulated by the FCA.

With assets based abroad, they sit outside the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority.

High-risk investments are not generally considered suitable for average, or ‘retail’ investors, and these schemes were widely mis-sold.

What Happened To The Cherish Wealth Management Directors?

As shown in the ITV documentary, two former Cherish directors went on to form a new company – Cherish Premier Wealth.

The firm however is not regulated to provide financial advice.

Strand Capital DFM Claims


Who Are Optima Worldwide Group Plc?

Optima Worldwide is firm that describes itself as focusing on identifying and investing in unique opportunities around the globe.

It purchased Strand Capital in 2014.

Can I Claim Against Strand Capital?

If you invested with Strand, it may be that you’ve already received compensation. However, you may be able to make a claim against a financial adviser if they gave you negligent advice over Strand or your pension.

The Ultimate Ethical Forestry Pension Claims Guide


Is There An Ethical Forestry Investor’s Forum?

Like with many failed or concerning investments, there have been several Ethical Forestry investor forums run by different parties since trouble began back in 2015.

Some have even been recognised by the Administrators at HJS Solutions.

Was Ethical Forestry Fraud?

We don’t yet know if Ethical Forestry had fraudulent elements involved with it or the group of companies it is related to, just that the Serious Fraud Office has been investigating the group since 8 March 2017.

What we do know is that several financial advisers broke FCA rules when they unsuitably advised people to invest in Ethical Forestry through SIPP pensions.

How Is Avacade Involved?

Avacade was a marketing company that is known to have introduced some people to the Ethical Forestry investment. Not regulated by the FCA, they were not authorised to give Financial Advice.

Avacade itself has been in been in a Creditor’s voluntary liquidation since November 2015.

In some cases, a financial adviser gave advice following Avacade’s introduction.

How Can I Get Ethical Forestry Compensation?

While Ethical Forestry and many of the marketing companies involved in mis-selling cases are unregulated by the FCA, if you received financial advice as part of a pension transfer to invest in Ethical Forestry, you may be able to claim compensation.

Find out more about mis-sold SIPP claims or fill in one of the forms on this website to receive a call-back from one of our specialist pension claim handlers.

How Many People Invested In Ethical Forestry?

Between 2013 and late 2016, around 3,000 to 3,500 people invested a total of £86 million in Ethical Forestry, primarily through SIPP pensions. Investments seem to generally range from £12,000 to £18,000 for a group of trees.

Many began their investment journey after receiving a cold-call from a marketing company offering a ‘Free Pension Review, often involving some high-pressure sales tactics.

We now know that many of the people who invested in Ethical Forestry were not suitable for such an investment, not being High Net-Worth Individuals or Sophisticated Investors, exposing them to too much risk.

Is My SIPP Provider Responsible?

Usually, blame for a mis-sold Ethical Forestry investment rests with the financial adviser, however SIPP providers have rules to follow too, including due diligence.

If you’re not sure if you had a financial adviser, but still invested in Ethical Forestry via a SIPP, you can still get in touch for a FREE initial assessment to see if you can make a claim.

Providers Guinness Mahon and Liberty SIPP are both known to have accepted Ethical Forestry investments in the past.

How Much Did Ethical Forestry Directors Get Paid?

We know that a payment of £10.3 million was made to the directors of Ethical Forestry in 2013.

The company’s revenue dropped around £16 million the following financial year (2013-2014).

Other sources (accountancydaily.co) say that £19 million was drawn down by the directors.

The Ultimate Harlequin Property Related Claims Guide


How Do I Know If I Was Mis-Sold A Harlequin Investment?

Harlequin was always a high-risk investment and should never have been suggested to many of the people who ended up invested.

Unregulated investments MAY have been considered suitable for people who are earning over £100k per year, or people who have a wealth of knowledge and experience about investing.

If not, the advice may well have been unsuitable, and it could be that a claim is possible.

Why Was Harlequin Properties High Risk?

Being based abroad, Harlequin Properties was NOT regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). It means that the FCA wasn’t looking over its shoulder.

Can Cash Investors Make A Claim?

Until quite recently, Cash Investors have been unable to make claims via the FSCS, however the FSCS says it will now consider cash claims for people who took negligent financial advice to invest in Harlequin.

Are There Harlequin Investor Forums?

They’ve been quite a few Harlequin properties investor forums. A quick search online should bring you a few.

Financial Page Ltd And Mis-Sold Pensions


Are Financial Page Ltd And Andrew Page The Financial Adviser The Same Thing?

Andrew Page was the name of the financial adviser who operated Financial Page Ltd. Andrew Page was also a trading name of the firm.

What Is Guinness Mahon?

Guinness Mahon is a SIPP Provider. Like many SIPPs they can hold a wide range of investments, including high-risk ones. In some cases, Financial Page’s advice led to clients moving to a Guinness Mahon SIPP and investing in the AIGO funds.

What Are The AIGO Funds?

The AIGO funds are a set of non-FCA regulated high-risk investments, including AIGO Commercial, AIGO UK Residential Property, AIGO Equity Funds and more.

Due to their high-risk nature, they are not considered to be suitable for many investors, and financial advisers should have considered their client’s risk profiles to ensure the investment was suitable for recommending a transfer.

Greyfriars Asset Management And Portfolio Six Guide


How Do I Know If I Have A Greyfriar's Claim?

Discovering whether you have a claim relating to Greyfriars Asset Management could be the key to claiming back thousands.

If you dealt with Greyfriars about pensions or investments for any reason since 2003, our claims handlers are more than happy to chat, especially if:

  • You transferred to a SIPP with Greyfriars
  • You invested in Portfolio Six
  • You took investment advice from Greyfriars

Was Portfolio 6 Bad?

Bad is the wrong word.

Some investments are high-risk, some are low.

Portfolio Six is known to have contained a few High Risk investments, which would make it unsuitable for a lot of people, and so it’s the advice that led people to invest that could be ‘bad’, ‘negligent’ or ‘unsuitable’.

I Had A Greyfriar's SIPP. What Do I Do?

If you had a SIPP with Greyfriars, then it could be that yours was bought by Hartley Pensions.

Hopefully, it was one that didn’t feature any investments that were unsuitable for you.

If you want to check, just call us up on 01204 929929 for a free, no-obligation chat with one of our claims specialists.

Somebody Else Advised Me To Invest In A Greyfriars SIPP

That kind of stuff happens a lot. Some advisers recommended Greyfriars as a SIPP provider, and it could be that you have a claim against them rather than Greyfriars itself!

Aegis Power Bond SIPP Claims Guide


What Went Wrong With Aegis Power?

The full details appear to be yet to be released. We know that there were disputes between the directors of Aegis Power, resulting in a dismissal for gross misconduct. Some of the subsiduary firms owed the part company money, but had gone into administration. Aegis Power is now winding up due to a court petition.

In the fullness of time, the reasons may become clarified in subsequent administrator’s and liquidator’s progress reports as is common in similar situations.

Still a case of wait and see!

Can I Make A Claim Against Aegis Power?

Not for negligence regarding financial advice. Most claims regarding pension investments go against a financial adviser who got their advice wrong due to either negligence, greed, or both.

None of the companies in the Aegis group appear to have been regulated by the FCA to provide financial advice, but if you received advice from a regulated IFA in relation to an Aegis investment, you may have grounds to make a claim.

Is The Aegis Power Bond Going To Recover?

To comment would be pure speculation. Being unregulated by the FCA, it was always a high-risk investment.

SVS Securities Plc Pension Claims Guide


Is My SVS Securities Money Frozen?


With SVS in special administration, part of the role of Leonard Curtis will be to assess what money is owed to who, and return it where possible. However, if some of the investments have become illiquid then this may present problems.

Will I Get My Money Back?

We hope so! Again, the joint Special Administrators will be tasked with working out who is owed what. However if money cannot be realised from investments this may cause difficulties. Also, costs will be deducted from client money or custody assets to pay for the administration of the firm.

The FSCS has said that they will cover client money shortfalls for eligible clients.

Who Can I Make A Claim Against?

If you have lost money because you have become wrapped up with SVS Securities, it could be that you can claim against SVS themselves, or against a financial adviser if they acted negligently regarding a pension transfer.