Is this the new PPI? Wave of pension mis-selling could spark windfall for thousands; Duped savers could each pocket a [pounds sterling]50,000 each due to their underperforming pension schemes.
Duped savers could each pocket a [pounds sterling]50,000 windfall due to their underperforming pension schemes as part of a mammoth SIPP scandal engulfing the UK - which industry experts fear will overtake the current wave of PPI claims.
A colossal [pounds sterling]10 billion worth of badly performing SIPPs - Self Invested Personal Pensions - are believed to have been mis-sold to hundreds of thousands of Brits by unscrupulous financial advisors.
Now potential victims are being urged to check if they can reclaim huge portions of their lost cash and the government has set up a special [pounds sterling]120 million fund to compensate losers so far.
A maximum [pounds sterling]50,000 compensation sum is currently available from the large fund managed by The Financial Service Compensation Scheme and the figure is set to rise by 75 per cent to a [pounds sterling]85,000 maximum in the next nine months as claims grow.
However industry figures such as the pension expert Zoe Pearson warn that the true cost of mis-sold pensions is closer to [pounds sterling]10 billion and will sweep the country like the current phenomenon of PPI claims that has gripped the nation over the past few years.
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Miss Pearson, who heads the country's all female team of claim specialistsPension Claim Consulting Ltd, told Mirror Online: "Thousands upon thousands of people are unaware they've been mis-sold SIPPS.
"Unless you know what to look for it's difficult to know what a mis-sale is although quite often when people realise they've been mis-sold to, they're too embarrassed to take action.
"However, the financial services industry has firm rules, so any mis-sale should be pursued.
"Even basic calculations give you an idea of the true scale of this scandal. Average compensation for mis-sales sit at around [pounds sterling]25,000 for private pensions and [pounds sterling]50,000 for final salary pensions so the total figure for the mis-sales of SIPPs is going to be around the [pounds sterling]10bn mark.
"In fact if this was brought to the forefront and the government advised people to check the status of their pensions that might even be an underestimation. The government needs to launch an investigation to unearth the true amount."
Labour MP Frank Field has hit out at the SIPP conmen and vowed to bring the industry into line whilst industry experts reveal the true figure of mis-selling is growing at an unprecedented rate and the true loss of mis-selling will run into billions as the number of victims rocket.
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The Financial Ombudsman however are allowed to raise their compensation ceiling and can award up to a further maximum of [pounds sterling]150,000 for many cases.
The SIPP scams involved unscrupulous Financial Advisors preying on savers who were promised massive returns of up to 20 per cent a year only for their savings to be squandered on get rich quick schemes including investing in airport parking, holiday properties and green energy projects.
The Financial Conduct Authority revealed one in eight savers think an advisor has mis-sold them a financial product such as a pension.
The FCA advise people who think they have been mis-sold a pension to raise a complaint as soon as possible as there are time-limits in place which could affect the outcome of your claim.
Their report called the Financial Lives Survey was widely praised by industry experts who believe that the government have underestimated the scale of mis-sold pensions such as SIPPs however the Commons Work and Pensions Committee have demanded tighter safeguards to protect savers.
Committee Chairman Frank Field MP said: "I am concerned about the role of SIPPs as platforms that help funnel unwitting clients' pension savings into dodgy and inappropriate investments. SIPPs are happy to skim off their fee on the way but there are serious questions about their commitment to due diligence and consumer protection.
"When an unscrupulous financial adviser channels a victim's money through a SIPP into an investment that then collapses, it is not enough for the SIPP provider to shrug their shoulders and say 'caveat emptor'.
"I will be writing to the FCA to ask what they are doing to ensure SIPPS are not acting as handmaidens to the pension-snatchers."
Ms Pearson, whose team of specialist claims advisors are based in Sheffield, has helped thousands of British savers recover their money as well as ex-pats living in Spain and former British citizens who are now based in Australia.
She added: "People often believe SIPPs and private pensions are only for the wealthy, but they are not. Our clients come from a broad range of backgrounds.
"We work with teachers, supermarket workers and nurses, people in everyday jobs, real grafters who have worked hard all their lives with the same desire, to provide for a comfortable retirement.
"It's harrowing when we see people realise the bottom has fallen out of their pension, money they've worked really hard to put away.
"Alarm bells always start ringing when we hear the client has invested in holiday resort fractional ownerships, storage pods, agricultural land and the like.
"On the positive side, our job is as much about being there for the client, at the end of the phone whenever they need us as it is securitising their investments and applying for them to be compensated."
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|Title Annotation:||News,UK News|
|Publication:||Daily Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 7, 2018|
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