Was your SSAS Pension mis-sold? Because if that is the case our specialist team can help you submit a claim.
Not sure whether you are eligible for compensation? Then read through our comprehensive SSAS pension guide to check the most common mis selling problems people like yourself may have encountered.
In recent times we have all been asked, and encouraged, to carefully consider our financial future and put appropriate financial planning in place. However, it now appears that a considerable number of people have lost money because of pension mis-selling. And one of the types of pension where this has occurred is under what are often described as Small Self Administered Schemes SSAS – where the SSAS is, of course, the short-form description of this pension.
What is a small self-administered pension scheme?
A small self-administered pension scheme is essentially a specialised kind of employer-sponsored defined contribution workplace pension. Such schemes are typically created in order to provide important retirement benefits for key staff. Self-administered pension schemes are usually limited to 11 employees and often include company directors and other senior-level staff. Importantly, these schemes can also extend to cover other family members, even when they are not on the company payroll. An SSAS pension scheme is particularly attractive to a small independent or family-run business because it can offer a considerable range of investment flexibility.
Another advantage of these workplace schemes is that members can not only select the defined benefit aspect of their retirement scheme, they are also free to decide how their pension savings should be invested. In fact, they can even opt to use their pension fund to invest in their employer’s business. For instance, that could allow an employer to buy and leaseback further business premises. It could also be a means of providing additional loan funding, which would then allow an employer to pay over loan interest to the company instead of to a bank or other lenders.
An SSAS scheme option may be offered by an insurance company or another kind of pension provider. And generally speaking, an SSAS arrangement is administered by its own Trustees, who may also qualify as members of the scheme. Scheme contribution payments can be made by the scheme members and/or by an employer. Subject to certain conditions, all contributors to the scheme are entitled to claim tax relief on their contribution payments.
SSAS investments not for everyone
If you’re looking for a retirement pension where you are not tied-in to a single provider, then an SSAS-type scheme could perhaps be a good option. However, a good financial adviser should have specifically warned you that investing SSAS pensions funds carries a certain level of risk. And if you were advised to put money into poor, high risk investments; if your pension savings have been exposed to an inappropriate level of risk; or if your adviser received an unwarranted amount of commission for the advice you received, you may have grounds for making a compensation claim.
The Financial Services Authority (supported by the Financial Conduct Authority) issued warnings in 2008, and again in 2012, that the majority of SSASs were unsuitable for retail customers. Nevertheless, a number of business owners have subsequently discovered they have lost money through their SSAS, and that this deficit occurred because they were mis sold pensions.
Typical mis-sold investment options
While there is nothing wrong with using genuine investment funds, provided you understand the risks involved, certain high risk investments crop up more frequently with SSAS mis-selling. The list includes options such as: farming and land projects, regeneration projects, alternative lending schemes, carbon credits and green oil, forestry, overseas property and more.
If you were advised to purchase an overseas pension scheme which has now left you worse off than if you had opted for a straightforward UK-based pension scheme, you may also be entitled to make a mis-selling claim. And likewise, if your adviser suggested you should transfer an existing private pension or workplace pension fund to a new scheme which would offer higher returns, and this proved to be unsuitable for your needs, you may be due compensation.
Believe you have an SSAS Pension mis-sold claim? Then contact our team of experts who can undertake an investigation and advise you further. We can, of course, help you to prepare and submit your SSAS mis-selling claim. And whatever type of mis-sold pension claim used, there are no upfront fees and our service includes continuous, end-to-end case management on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Pension compensation claims often have to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service to decide the outcome of the claim, as well as to fix the amount of compensation to be awarded. But don’t worry, what we describe as ‘financial ombudsman service used’ claims still qualify for our standard no-win, no-fee service.