IFAs are calling for FSA guidance on how to assess the value of final-salary schemes, warning that risks to defined-benefit schemes have increased significantly.
They also argue that the surge in the winding-up of final-salary schemes means that many consumers caught up in the pension misselling scandal are better off having transferred out of an occupational scheme even before they received compensation under the review.
The FSA says it is for IFAs to decide. FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “IFAs have to take everything into account, including current market conditions. Nothing is guaranteed any more and a personal pension may be more appropriate than an occupational scheme.”
The extent of the threat to final-salary schemes was highlighted last week by a report from actuaries Watson Wyatt that showed a £70bn shortfall across UK company schemes.
IFAs are also hitting back at Consumers' Association suggestions that stockmarket falls mean pension review compensation was not high enough.
Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services director Richard Jacobs says: “A 'Rolls-Royce' scheme is no longer a 'Rolls-Royce' scheme. The FSA will not give us any guidance but will put me out of business if I give the wrong guidance.”
Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “This is a Pandora's box. If you were an IFA who had paid out a massive amount to someone who was now better off, you would want some money back. Do we now say everything we have done on the pension review for the last 10 years must be revisited?”