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Ombudsman set to rule on crucial pension liberation cases

An industry source says the ombudsman’s decisions are unlikely to help the industry in its efforts to block transfers to suspected liberation schemes.

The Pensions Ombudsman is set to rule on nine fund transfer cases which could have significant implications in the battle against pension liberation, Money Marketing understands.

Eight of the cases are understood to involve complaints from savers who have been refused a transfer to a suspected liberation scheme. 

In the final case, an investor has complained because the pension scheme administrator allowed their funds to be transferred to a liberation scheme.

A source says: “Some of the judgments we are going to get from the ombudsman are not going to make it any easier for companies to either reject a request for a transfer or comply with a request for a transfer and in either scenario be entirely confident they are not going to face retrospective action.

“The ombudsman has made it clear that it will not be making it easy for the industry on this.”

The Pensions Ombudsman senior investigator Jane Stephens says: “We have nine pension liberation cases at the moment, the majority of which relate to complaints that the provider has blocked the transfer.

“We realise the whole of the pensions world is waiting with baited breath for the outcome but we need to be sure a balanced view has been reached.”

The identity of the firms involved is not yet known.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “If the ombudsman’s rulings don’t go in the industry’s favour then the Government will have to look at making it more difficult for fraudsters to set up these schemes in the first place.”



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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Please forgive my lack of understanding but what does “Ombudsman set to rule….” actually mean in terms of timescales? As an interested non financial professional how would we know whether he has ruled and what his rulings were? I’m just grateful there are sites like Money Marketing for keeping those outside the industry, but interested in taking responsibility for their lives, very well informed, thank you 🙂

  2. @Terry the FOS publishes the decisions o. its website. firm details but not clients.

  3. Thank you @Philip Castle, so I need to talk to IFA who would see FOS published decisions?

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