Although now closed to new members, the Marks & Spencers defined benefits pension scheme offered some excellent retirement benefits for those lucky enough to have been awarded one before 1 April 2002.
Like many defined benefits pension schemes, the Marks & Spencers scheme promised a guaranteed income in retirement, based on career earnings and length of service.
The key bit here is “guaranteed income”, for life! In an uncertain world where the value of investments can rise and fall, and recession often seems round the corner, that’s a valuable promise to many people, giving them peace of mind knowing they have an income to look forward to.
Yet people do transfer away from pensions like the Marks & Spencers defined benefits pension scheme… why?
Many people with defined benefits pensions get told this at some point, usually by a financial adviser or marketing company – either one of which would likely earn fees or commission if you did.
It’s true that some people have managed to earn more money by choosing their own investments, but its also true that many people have transferred their pensions only to lose some or all of their money on a volatile and often merciless investment market.
You see, while that money was with the Marks & Spencers pension scheme or other type of defined benefit scheme, the risk predominantly rested on the shoulders of the trustees.
If you took the money out, then you took on the risk too.
To try to protect people from making the wrong choice over their defined benefits pension schemes, the regulator (FCA) sets down strict rules for financial advisers to follow when dealing with potential pension transfers:
They must assess each enquiry on a case-by-case basis, starting from the assumption that a transfer is the wrong decision. Only in rare circumstances, such as a life-shortening diagnosis with no spouse or dependents to look after, might it be considered suitable to transfer such a pension.
If you transferred a Marks & Spencers final salary pension, then you may have been mis-sold a pension transfer and you could be able to make a claim.
You can talk to a case assessor from Get Claims Advice to help find out! We offer a FREE initial assessment to anybody with concerns – it could be that you can make a claim on a No Win – No Fee* basis!Speak with a Claims Handler
Ask us any question about your situation and we’ll be in touch at the best time for you – COMPLETELY FREE!