Back in the late 1980’s Self Investment Personal Pension (SSIP) and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSAS) were launched but didn’t really take off until A-Day in 2006. At which point many people made the decision to transfer some or all, of their pensions into a SIPP or a SSAS for the purpose of making investments. Also, in 2006 the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) was also launched and whilst not as popular as the SIPP or SSAS it was still used to transfer and invest individual pension funds.
In short, these vehicles were used to transfer some, or all, of your pension fund from your existing pension so you could decide where you made investments. Most of the investors were known as unsophisticated investors and consequently would usually engage an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) to advise on the type of investment and the risks associated with that investment. Where an alternative investment was considered High Risk your IFA would usually advise you not to risk all your pension in this type of investment and generally advise you not to risk any more than maximum 25% of your pension in this type of investment.
Are you a victim of mis sold investments?
In a number of cases this advice was not given and a large proportion of the pension and in some cases all of the pension was transferred into one of these vehicles for investment purposes. In other cases, an IFA was not engaged, and the pension fund was transferred into a SIPP or SSAS on an execution only basis.
In many cases these transactions resulted in the investor losing part or even all of their pension fund.
If this has happened to your pension fund, you may be able to claim mis sold pension compensation against either the IFA involved or, where an IFA was not involved, you may have a claim against the SIPP Trustee under the mis-selling guidelines regulated by the FCA.
This still applies regardless of when the investment/transfer of funds took place and whether the IFA or SIPP Trustee is still trading.