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Pension Introducers

Pension introducers are often at the heart of the mis-sold pensions scandal, including defined benefit pension transfers.

If you’ve transferred your pension after receiving a cold-call or free pension review, the chances are you dealt with a pension introducer – an unregulated marketing firm paid to introduce new prospective clients to a new pension provider or set of investments.

Not regulated by the FCA to provide pension advice, pension introducers frequently use a real financial adviser to tick the ‘advice box’ and make the pension go ahead, and often receive commission for setting up the pension transfer.

Often, these pension transfers and investments are mis-sold due to negligence on the part of the adviser and greed on the part of the commission hungry introducer, leading to a financial loss.

Whether you’ve transferred a final salary pension, or transferred into a SIPP, SSAS or QROPS, you may have now have a mis-sold pension, and may be able to make a claim.

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What are pension introducers and cold calls?

We use the term pension introducers to separate them from pension advisers. While some regulated financial advisers are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to give advice about pension transfers and investments, pension introducers are generally not.

Pension introducers and generally just marketing firms – call centres, online advertising agencies and leaflet mailers whose job it is to drum up new business for pension providers and investment companies.

Until recently, many mis-sold pensions stories began with a cold-call (that’s a phone-call out of the blue that you weren’t expecting and didn’t consent to) offering a ‘Free Pension Review’.

At first glance, a free pension review sounded like a good idea for many people – a chance to have an ‘expert’ review your pension arrangements to see if they can be improved, giving you more money in retirement. But as of Jan 2019, cold-calling about pensions is now banned.

Often, the advice appeared to be impartial and unbiased, but really, many people were being funnelled towards investments and arrangements that paid the most commission to the introducer – high-risk investments that weren’t always suitable for the people investing and put their money at risk.

Did you transfer your pension after a cold-call?

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Were you mis-sold a pension from a cold-call?

There are many things that can add up to a pension mis-selling claim, but if any of the following apply to you, then we urge you to look deeper into your pension advice to see if you can make a claim potentially worth thousands to you.

  • You transferred your pension after a ‘Free Pension Review’
  • Your transfer all began with a cold-call about your pension
  • You transferred a final salary pension or other defined benefit scheme
  • You invested your pension through a SIPP, SSAS or QROPS

While suitable for some people, many of these may be a sign you were mis-sold your pension, and may want to consider the pension claims process.

Pension introducers in the spotlight

While there have been hundreds of pension introducer firms operating all across the UK and Europe over the past few years (many of which have now disappeared).

Although having experience dealing with one of these firms, it doesn’t mean you were definitely mis-sold, you may wish to have the advice you received checked if you’ve transferred after dealing with one of these firms in particular.

CL&P Brokers (Spain)
Consumer Money Matters
First Review Pension Services
Jackson Francis Ltd

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Mis-sold Pensions Claim Process

At Spencer Churchill Claims Advice we deal with direct claims, as well as claims made via the FOS or FSCS for mis-sold pensions.

Free Initial Assessment

A chat on the phone with a specialist to see if you can claim

Getting the paperwork

Once onboard, we’ll gather the paperwork and investigate the claim further

Building the claim

We’ll then build your claim using our knowledge, experience and winning strategy

Getting a result

We’ll review the outcome of your claim, and either appeal the decision or the compensation about, or organise the claim to be paid to you.

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FAQS about 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.

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.