If you have a State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS), you may have been mis-sold this pension product, and be able to claim compensation.
What is SERPS?
SERPS was designed to be a top-up to the basic state pension and was introduced in the 1970s. You may have heard it referred to as the ‘Additional State Pension’. The problem with SERPS was that many people chose to opt-out of the scheme on the advice of a professional advisor, and had their National Insurance rebates invested into another personal pension. Most people have done this to receive better benefits in retirement.
Unfortunately, in many cases, those who opted out of SERPS would have been much better off if they had stuck with the scheme. Where you were advised to opt-out of SERPS, and this resulted in a loss, you could make a claim for compensation.
Can I find out if I was contracted out of SERPS?
You can check by looking at your payslips, or by asking your employer. There are also services available to help you trace missing SERPS pensions through HMRC.
Am I eligible for mis-sold SERPS compensation?
You can only claim mis-sold pension SERPS compensation in cases where you meet specific criteria set out below.
Firstly, you must have received the advice which resulted in you contracting out of SERPS between 1 July 1988 and 5 April 1997. Where you contracted out after March 1997, you will not be entitled to SERPS compensation for earnings after that point.
Secondly, on the date at which you contracted out, you must have been aged over 45 years old (if you are a man) or aged over 40 years old (if you are a woman). The reason for this criteria is that these are viewed as “pivotal ages” before which point it would be less likely that your investment returns would produce a more significant retirement income than if you had remained in SERPS.
Lastly, to bring a compensation claim, you must have been earning £10,000 a year or more every year.
Here at Next Gen Solicitors, we help people who have been mis-sold pension products to find the best solicitor to help them reclaim the money they have lost. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.