A SIPP or self invested personal pension is a type of personal pension that gives you a far greater level of freedom about how you invest your retirement funds than you can get with any other pension. You are in complete control of how and where your money is invested – you make the decisions that will determine how your pension pot performs.
Clients were encouraged to transfer their existing pension arrangements into SIPPs on the promise of greater returns and more control over their pension funds. In many cases, the clients did not have investment experience. Therefore they relied entirely upon financial advisors to assist them in making their choices. Unfortuantely some of these decisions were the wrong decision.
Clients were advised to transfer their pensions by advisers who had not properly considered whether this was appropriate in light of the necessary criteria including, the size of their pension fund, their attitude to risk, their capacity to incur losses and the overall suitability of the proposed underlying investments.
You should only consider opening up a Sipp if you have the experience of investing and are completely comfortable making your own decisions. Some investments that you can place in a Sipp are risky, and may not be suitable for you.
If you don’t have experience, a stakeholder or personal pension may be more suitable for you. You’ll may have a more limited choice of investments, but you could choose a fund that has a range of assets in it, rather than picking your own.
Sipps can also be very expensive, and their charges could eat into your returns if you only have a small amount invested. That’s why Sipps are more suitable for people with larger amounts of savings.
Did your Financial Adviser explain the fees to you? Did they tell you the commission they were being paid? Commission that would be paid from your pension when you transferred into the SIPP. Sometimes these commissions were so big that your investment would never re-pay those fees.
Some investments were not suitable because of their risk rating. Did your Financial Adviser do a risk assessment to determine your attitude to risk? Did you choose to invest in these high risk investments, or was your Financial Adviser not completely honest with you?
Some of these investments were not always what they seemed. Promised as golden retirement opportunities offering market-beating returns, many ended up losing money or simply turned out to be scams. Your Financial Adviser has a responsibility to give you good advice, not just advice that made them the most money, regardless of the suitability of your investment.
Hotel room schemes, overseas property developments, Eco schemes and carbon credits, forestry, storage pods and farm land. These are just a few of the unregulated high risk investments that have failed investors like you. Investing in these types of schemes is high risk, and not suitable for those clients who were just looking to secure their retirement.
Many of these high risk investments were also unregulated, meaning your money was not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if anything went wrong. This means you took all the risk, and your Financial Adviser probably didn’t explain this to you.