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FOS pension transfer and Sipp complaints rise

Home-House-Paper-Chain-700x450.jpgThe number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service about Sipps and pension transfers continues to increase, latest data shows.

Between April and June this year, FOS received another 678 Sipp enquiries, an increase of more than 50 per cent from the 427 reported over the same period in 2016.

Half of the cases that made it through to an Ombudsman ruling were upheld.

While they began at a lower level, the number of FOS enquiries about occupational pension transfers and opt-outs also ticked up from 135 to 160, an increase of 19 per cent. These complaints were less likely to be upheld though, with 29 per cent ruling in favour of the consumer.

Enquiries about other personal pensions fell slightly, from 965 to 839, as did complaints about investment Isas, falling from 381 to 316.

Cash Isas generated 203 enquiries, a decrease from the 329 reported the previous year.

Across all complaints, 35 per cent were upheld between April and March, down from 48 per cent in the same period in 2016. More than half of all complaints still relate to payment protection insurance.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is due to begin assessing complaints regarding claims management companies once the FCA takes over regulation of the sector after the passage of The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which is currently running through Parliament, today’s update also noted.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I wonder, will be ever see figures presented as a percentage of the total business written. When you say the number of complaints 678 and increase of 50%, this actually represents most likely 0.01% of actual business written.
    When will the industry be judged on a true reflective figures?

  2. Are these ‘enquiries’ actually about SIPPs per se or, as I rather suspect, almost entirely about advice on unsuitable investments made via SIPPs? I wish headlines such as this would make the distinction clear, because not doing so tends to create the misleading impression that SIPPs are generically bad products which, of course, isn’t the case at all.

    There are probably many people who have SIPPs that they don’t actually need, for the simple reason that they have no need or inclination to invest in anything other than entirely conventional collective funds. Very few of these ‘enquiries’ to the FOS, I expect, are from people unhappy with the extra costs incurred by having a SIPP instead of a regular funds supermarket retirement savings plan (even though such a potential complaint might well be justifiable.

    A list of permitted SIPP investments may be found at https://www.jameshay.co.uk/media/4159/partnership-sipp-permitted-investments-list.pdf. How many of our clients ever come to us asking to invest in virtually any of those? Hardly any, I’d bet.

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