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Warning on pension penalty

A pensioner has been hit by a 20 per cent market value reduction because his adviser applied for funds two days before his normal retirement date.

The 75-year-old client of Scottish firm Intelligent Pensions was hit with a 21,000 MVR which Scottish Equitable levied despite not paying out benefits until nine days after the client’s NRD.

Intelligent Pensions technical manager David Trenner applied for pension benefits early so the retiree could receive the funds on his normal retirement date to exercise the open market option with another company.

After Intelligent Pensions complained, the MVR was returned but ScotEq says it was technically correct, if not “morally” so.

Trenner says IFAs should make sure they apply on exactly the right date or risk losing client funds on a technicality. “If you are about to transfer benefits, do not send in the application before the client’s NRD because if you give insurers any forewarning, technically they think they are right to impose a penalty.”

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