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Plumbers' pensions and mini-bond claims: the week in news

Plumbers' pensions and mini-bond claims: the week in news

It has been an eventful week, with the streets of London paved with protesters and the Financial Conduct Authority dominating the headlines.

However, amid the politics and regulation, there has been an apology, DB transfer limits and cries for help. It’s time for the week in news.

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This week FTAdviser saw an open letter to the Chancellor penned by the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign group who were affected by the increase in state pension age.

The group is contesting his remarks made during the Spring Statement in March when he said he had heard about Waspi but considered the matter resolved.

In the letter, Angela Madden, finance director and chair of Waspi, said 3.8m women faced "unique barriers when trying to mitigate against the financial hardship which they are currently experiencing".

A sinking feeling

Plumbing companies will be asked to pay pension bills that could reach millions of pounds as the industry-wide defined benefit scheme pursues accrued debts.

The Plumbing and Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme will, for the first time, be issuing section 75 debt notices after initiating a data matching exercise to find old employers that didn’t pay what they owed when they left the scheme.

Some 150 debt notices are estimated to be issued, which might make some of the companies insolvent, Kate Yates, Plumbing Pensions administrator chief executive, told FTAdviser.

There’s no limit! Oh, wait…

Professional indemnity insurance providers are placing restrictions on the volume of pension transfer business they will allow small advice companies to carry out.

These restrictions typically involve an advice company being told it can only do a fixed number of defined benefit transfers in a given year and, if the adviser wishes to exceed this number, they must contact the insurer and either see their premiums rise or simply be told they cannot do the transfer.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Maybe for some, but not the Financial Ombudsman Service that has, this week, apologised to an adviser for incorrectly pursuing his company in an alleged case of unsuitable pension advice. 

IFS Financial Management Ltd was established in 2003, but in February it received notice from the ombudsman that a complaint had been made against the company for pension advice allegedly received in 1999. 

The complainant alleged he had been advised to set up a personal pension with a provider rather than enroll in his employer's defined benefit pension, and believed he would have been better off in the latter. 

The name is bond, mini-bond

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has said it may be able to pay compensation to investors with a collapsed mini-bond company if it provided advice - despite the fact it was not regulated to do so.

Administrators for London Capital & Finance are currently combing through recordings of phone calls between the company's representatives and its customers to find out whether they were given advice to buy the mini-bonds.