It is difficult to imagine being placed in a position that you have only ever read about in the news. Much like robbery or severe illness, extreme situations are often thought of as happening to other people.
Pension mis-selling, however, affects thousands of UK citizens every day, and many are not aware of the impact until it is too late. Whether the terms and conditions of your pension were not explained to you clearly, or you were hit by surprise charges and fees, or your money has not been handled as it was promised, you might have fallen victim to a mis-sold pension. The question is, what should you do next?
First, you need to act fast. Scammers rely on your ignorance, and money moves quickly, particularly in the digital world. The moment you realise – or even suspect – that you have been mis-sold a pension, you need to immediately obtain all of the information at your disposal. Emails, phone numbers, faxes, addresses, and anything else that you can possibly think of that might provide some kind of paper trail. Then, you must take this information to your provider. The Financial Ombudsman Service and the Pensions Ombudsman can also be potential points of contact.
It is important to remember that, no matter how quickly you act, the process will be a slow one. Legally, your provider or advisor has eight weeks to respond to you. If they do not respond, or if the firm has been dissolved, then you have legal recourse to pursue the matter more aggressively. You can be aided in this process by finding a solicitor who specialises in your unique case. Compared to simply utilising an ombudsman, a solicitor can also help the matter move faster once it is in the law’s hands.
Pensions are one of the most common products to be affected by scams, likely due to their ubiquity and long term nature. It can take some people years to realise that they have been affected by a mis-sold pension. With the help of the right institutions, you can prevent yourself from losing everything to such a scam.