Intrinsic must compensate for pension transfer delays

Intrinsic must compensate for pension transfer delays

Intrinsic has been told to compensate a client for taking more than seven weeks to arrange a pension transfer.

In October 2015 a client referred to as Mr B was separated from his wife and he needed to access the tax free cash from his plan to set up a new home. 

An Intrinsic adviser met with him to discuss transferring his personal plans to a drawdown plan. 

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The adviser said that he was due to go on holiday shortly and his company was changing their affiliated network. 

The adviser met Mr B again in December 2015 and it was agreed to transfer Mr B’s plans to a drawdown plan and release his tax free cash. 

Mr B asked for an update on the progress of his transfers in January 2016. 

Another adviser looked into this and then sent Mr B a suitability report outlining his recommendation on 20 January 2016. 

But Mr B then took advice from another firm, which completed the transfer on 23 February 2016 and gave him his tax free cash. 

In a final decision, ombudsman Terry Connor said the recommendation to transfer to a drawdown plan and access the cash was suitable but it was not carried out as quickly as Mr B had expected or as quickly as it could have been. 

Mr Connor said he could not see that Mr B had caused the delay and felt the transfer could have completed around seven weeks after the first meeting in October 2015. 

He said there was no evidence of any other compelling reasons for the delay except the change of networks and required authorisation for the adviser.

Mr Connor said: “In my view, the adviser should have made it clear in its first meeting with Mr B that there was likely to be a substantial delay in completing his transfers because of a pending network change, the adviser’s authorisation status and the adviser’s imminent holiday. 

“Mr B’s adviser knew he wanted to access his tax free cash as soon as possible because of a number of financial issues, mainly as a result of his separation from his wife. 

“If Mr B had been made aware of a possible lengthy delay then it is likely he would have reviewed his circumstances and asked another adviser to help him.” 

Intrinsic was told to compare the value of Mr B’s pension fund on 1 December 2015 with that of the actual transfer date of 24 February 2016. 

Any loss should be paid into Mr B’s pension plan, plus 8 per cent interest. 

Mr B must also get £200 for the disruption caused to his retirement planning.