Hartley administrators make progress on Ssas book sale

Hartley administrators make progress on Ssas book sale

The administrators of Hartley Pensions have confirmed a sale of the firm’s self-administered pensions scheme client book has been agreed in principle.

In a letter addressed to all Ssas clients of Harley Pensions and published today, UHY Hacker Young Chartered Accountants said the sale to a new preferred operator would not be completed before the first quarter of 2023 due to logistical issues. 

The letter also addressed what the administrators described as “legitimate concerns” following an email sent by a director of Hartley Pensions to Sipp clients last week.

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In the email, director Tony Flanagan claimed the FCA had put the value of Sipp clients’ pension funds at risk.

His email was met with push back from the FCA who said the communication contained “factual inaccuracies” which may have caused concern.

At the time, UHY Hacker Younger criticised the email and said it was not approved by them and that they would contact clients “shortly”. 

The administrators have today published a second letter addressing the “inaccurate narrative” conveyed by Flanaghan and reasserted that the email was sent without the agreement of UHY Hacker Younger or the FCA.

Joint administrator Peter Kubik described the email as “drastically inaccurate in many ways”.

Kubik wrote: “A sale of the entire Ssas book has already been agreed in principle, which is not going to result in any charge being applied to the client assets as the cost of transferring out this element of the client book will be covered by the consideration paid by the preferred operator. 

“As such, we are mindful that Mr Flanagan's inaccurate statement may have caused significant unnecessary concerns for Ssas clients.”

Kubik advised any clients who had concerns about the email to contact the administrators directly.

In relation to the sale of the client book, Kubik said all clients will receive direct communications from the administrators confirming who the preferred operator was and explaining the process of transferring their SSas.

The sale is unlikely to be completed before the first quarter of 2023 due to “logistical issues in transferring the Ssas book containing 360 schemes comprised of 947 clients”. 

Kubik said clients will be provided with regular updates on expected timescales and that all clients will be offered the opportunity to opt out of a transfer to the preferred operator but warned that this may incur additional charges. 

For all Ssas clients who consent to transfer to the preferred operator, no charge will be administered to their assets for doing so.

In March, the FCA told Hartley it could no longer accept new clients and a restriction was placed on new business. In August, the FCA confirmed Hartley had entered administration.

Kubik reminded clients to ensure any regular contributions to their pensions remain suspended and to not try to make any other contributions until further notice.