Adviser to pay out after pension switches led to higher costs

Therefore he ordered Positive Solutions to pay Mr W compensation by comparing the performance of his pensions with a benchmark.

In October 2008, Regent wrote to Mr W outlining its advice to switch the cash value of his existing personal pension with Skandia to a personal pension with Hartford and invest in a guaranteed retirement income plan, which involved investing in a growth portfolio and a guaranteed minimum level of income being paid at a selected retirement age.

Mr W had told Regent that the Skandia pension funds were valued at £293,220 in May 2006 but had fallen to £252,037 by October 2008, which he was very concerned about.

Hartford confirmed £252,777 was paid into the pension by Skandia in November 2008, and invested in the Hartford Platinum Growth Portfolio. 

This investment was then sold in April 2010 and £349,373 was paid into a Hawthorn Life cash fund. 

Hartford has also confirmed that Regent was named as the adviser when the pension was opened, and that commission of £7,583.30 was paid by it to Positive Solutions with 0.5 per cent commission paid monthly thereafter.

Shortly after the Hartley investment was sold, the money was switched to an IPM self-invested personal pension and £320,000 of the cash held within the Sipp was invested in Metlife.

The Metlife investment was chosen for Mr W as it had a secure income option which provides a guaranteed minimum income for life.

In June 2010, £20,000 was paid from the Sipp to a stockbroker called Lewis Charles Securities and in March 2011 £15,700 was paid to a stockbroker called Saxo.

An adjudicator at the Fos said that the switch from the Skandia pension was not suitable but Positive Solutions contended this as Mr W wanted protection for his benefits and argued that the complaint against this pension switch was only made because of Mr W’s unregulated investments through the pension.

Positive Solutions accepted responsibility for these acts.

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