Pensions Ombudsman sides with Transact over pension transfer complaint

The Pensions Ombudsman has ruled in favour of Transact in a complaint that saw the platform blamed for pension losses of nearly £150,000.

Pensions ombudsman Anthony Arter says the loss to the claimant’s pension fund after being transferred to the Bobins Pension Scheme in early 2008 on the recommendation of the now-defunct Fallon Financial Services, is not relevant to Transact.

The ombudsman decision says Transact received a transfer request from Tudor Capital Management to move claimant Mr D’s £138,698 pension fund to the Bobins Pension Scheme in 2008. While a transferring scheme declaration was signed by both Tudor and Mr D, the ombudsman says Transact should have also signed the document.

Arter says: “It appears it ought to have been signed by Transact as the transferring scheme. Since the transfer, Mr D had lost track of his pension and it appears that his pension has been misappropriated. As a result, he approached the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to claim compensation for losses arising from the advice he had received from the now dissolved Fallon Financial.”

In 2010, the Pensions Regulator also issued a series of determinations prohibiting Tudor from acting in a trustee capacity for several small occupational pension schemes. Arter confirms it is unclear if the Bobins Financial Scheme was included in this.

Mr D received notice from Transact three months after the 2008 transfer that he had just £790 remaining in his plan. A request for information from Mr D in 2015 confirmed the plan had been transferred to Tudor seven years prior.

Arter says: “Mr D had received the maximum compensation possible from the FSCS. While an advised transfer is primarily the responsibility of the adviser, the transferring pension provider must also undertake certain checks before acting on a transfer request. Since February 2013 those checks have become more rigorous, but prior to that date, the checks were less stringent.”

While Transact must check that schemes are registered with HM Revenue and Customs, Arter says any further responsibility is not required.

He says: “As such, Transact had acted in line with industry practice at the time. Tudor Capital had completed one of its own forms in error. This form ought to have been completed by Transact. However, as this was not one of Transact’s forms it would not have been relying on it and it would not have been sufficiently concerning for Transact not to have proceeded with the transfer.”

Mr D’s complaint that the pension should not have been transferred was subsequently not upheld.

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