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Comment of the week: Questions raised of schemes over pensions liberation

It can take weeks if not months for a registered firm like Annuity Direct to prise pension money from occupational pension scheme administrators or life insurance companies to transfer to an open market option offered elsewhere.

We are FSA registered and so are all the firms we pass the money to.

I find it difficult to understand how these firms have prised out £400m from properly run pension schemes.

When I was contacted by one of these firms to unlock my pension, they were staggeringly incompetent and no aspect of their operation was FSA approved. They used the name of an FSA approved firm as cover but this took 10 seconds on Google to see through.

Given the huge time it takes to move money and the volume of data/forms required then some far reaching questions need to be asked of the schemes that have made the transfer.

If they cannot check that the money is going to a bona fide source, then what are they doing in the months it takes to process transfers?

If TPR/FSA management cannot police this either, then they might well be advised to stand aside for someone who can.

Alan Higham

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Comments

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  1. Alan

    It depends where the funds are coming from.

    If the funds are being transferred from, say, a SSAS where the Trustees are the administrator there is no professional party to prevent this.

    HMRC really dropped the ball when they removed the requirement for a PT.

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