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Mis-Sold Final Salary Pension Claims

A mis-sold final salary pension involves an individual transferring from a defined benefit pension to a new pension product.

If you recently transferred a defined benefit pension, there’s a chance you were mis-sold, which means retirement plans could be at risk.

Fortunately, here at Get Claims Advice, we specialise in final salary pension transfer claims plus other types of mis-sold pension claims, and always operate with no upfront costs. And if you want to cancel our services, you’ll be able to do so within 14 days for free and without giving a reason.

Indeed, thanks to our successful pension claims process, we’ve already claimed back over *millions for our clients.

Want to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim?

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What are final salary pension transfer claims?

Final salary pensions – also known as defined benefit pensions – can offer outstanding benefits, including a guaranteed income for life in retirement. However, many should be wary of advisors that tell them to transfer. 

While transferring away from a defined benefit pension may be suitable for some, many people are told to transfer due to negligent or misleading pension transfer advice.

A final salary pension transfer claim gives you the chance to get compensation for the mis-selling of the transfer. 

Compensation for final salary pension transfers is on the up too, with the Financial Ombudsman reporting a 35% increase in Defined Benefit pension transfer complaints in October to December 2019 from the previous year.

Many people are claiming thousands for mis-sold final salary pension transfers away from schemes like local council pensions, steel, engineering and manufacturing.

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.

Final salary schemes tend to be operated by the Board of Trustees on behalf of the employer for public services such as the police, armed forces and NHS, as well as private companies, such as BT, Jaguar and Nestle.


Has my final salary pension transfer been mis-sold?

Even if your pension seems to be growing since you transferred it, you may still have lost money in a negligent transfer, or more in the long run due to the potential loss of your guaranteed income for life.

Final salary pension transfers aren’t usually for everyone, in fact in a 2018 targeted study by the FCA, less than 50% of the transfer cases they looked at were considered suitable!

If you’ve knowingly lost money through transferring due to your new pension investments, it may be an even bigger cause for concern.

If you:

  • Were advised to transfer your pension
  • Were told you’d be better off transferring

… then take a free initial assessment with one of our experienced case handlers to see if you can make a claim, just like Alan did to win back his retirement.

Finding out if you can claim may put you on a path to receiving thousands in compensation.

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Did you transfer any of these pensions?

How much compensation could I be owed?

Each claim we investigate is different. And each case involves different people, advice and amounts. In general, though, how much compensation you get depends on how much you’ve potentially lost.

Here’s a few factors we look at when we calculate out claims:

  • Does the new pension match the Critical Yield?
    The ‘Critical Yield’ is the percentage your new pension has to grow each year to match your old pension. Because your final salary pension offers a guaranteed income in your retirement, your new pension will need to increase to match or beat it.
  • What is your attitude to risk?
    When you transfer a final salary pension, you might have added extra risk to your retirement income.
    And, depending on the investments you made, you might have put your pension fund at further risk, as some are not regulated by the FCA.
  • Do you have any other pensions?
    If so, you may have put your only source of income for retirement at risk.
  • Was the transfer explained properly?
    If your advisor didn’t explain the pros and cons of a final pension, you might not have been in a position to make an informed decision.
  • What is the impact?
    What impact has the pension transfer had on the person’s retirement prospects?
    What impact might the pension transfer have had on your retirement plans? How much is the loss of guaranteed annuity terms worth? What’s the potential loss on the tax-free cash entitlement? Has money been lost through the transfer due to fees?
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The Claims Process

Our pension claim process has evolved over the years, becoming as streamlined as it has been successful.

1. Free Initial Assessment

We’ll listen to your story and work out if you’re eligible to make a claim

2. Read & Sign Your Pack

We’ll send you a pack with all your information in, and sign you up.

3. We Get To Work

Once your pack is returned, we really get going. We’ll be strategizing, writing letters to the parties involved, and building your claim.

4. Your Claim Results

We’ll present the results of your claim, hopefully an offer of compensation.

SIPP Claims

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Mis-sold Annuity Claims

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Pension Providers

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Final salary pension transfer claims FAQs

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

Here at Get Claims Advice, we’ve already recovered millions* from mis-sold pensions on behalf of our clients, many of which were wrongly advised to transfer their final salary pension.

If you (with or without help from Get 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 huge 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.

How is a final pension salary calculated?

There are 3 key factors to how your final salary is calculated:

  • The number of years you’ve contributed to the scheme
  • Your salary – either the salary you are retiring on or an average
  • Your pension scheme’s accrual rate

An accrual rate is a calculation that takes a fraction of your salary and multiples it by the number of years you’ve paid into the scheme. The accrual rate fraction is usually either 1/60th or 1/80th of your salary.

How safe is my final salary pension?

This can depend on the individual’s circumstances and the nuances of the final salary pension scheme they’re paying into. It’s worth noting, however, that the employer is responsible for safe-guarding the pension schemes and, in turn, the employee’s pension.

While it can be tempting to transfer your final salary pension because of the reputed numbers involved, it can often be attached to big risks with little – and often no – gains to be made. Especially when many people are advised to transfer on the basis of misleading or inaccurate information.

Should you transfer your final salary pension?

There isn’t a definitive yes or no answer to this. For some individuals, transferring their final salary pension for a cash lump sum can have its benefits. However, it’s telling that regulators have tightened the rules and that recent pension transfer activity has declined.

Anyone tempted to transfer their final salary pension should approach their decision with caution and understand the risks involved first.

Can I claim on a West Yorkshire Pension Fund transfer?

If you worked for the local authorities in West Yorkshire you may have had a defined benefit pension or final pension provided by the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Scheme.

Some people may have been advised to move their pension from the West Yorkshire Pension Fund on  the advice they could make more money elsewhere.

For some, this may have been accurate advice. But the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) often state that this is seldom a good enough reason to transfer a pension because of the risk-to-reward balance.

So, if you have moved your pension from the West Yorkshire Pension Fund scheme you may have a claim. We advise you to contact one of our case handlers to see if you have a claim to make.

Can I claim on a British Airways Pension transfer?

Transfers away from any valuable final pension scheme is rarely considered to be the right choice. This is because you’re transferring from a relatively safe scheme to, often, volatile investment markets.

If you worked for British Airways and benefited from the British Airways Pension scheme before being advised to transfer, you may be able to make a claim, which is something we’ll be able to explore.

We advise you to contact one of our case handlers to see if you have a claim to make.