• Tyrone Skipper

What rights do you hold over your pension provider?

Is your pension provider being unfair?

As an adviser, it is my duty to help ensure that clients are treated fairly. From both a legal and moral standpoint, individuals have fundamental rights that need to be addressed and safeguarded at all times. Pension processes can, however, sometimes become tricky, which makes ideas of rights and ethical practices all the more relevant.

If you or someone you know feels like they have been treated unfairly at some point, but aren’t too sure whether to fight back or to accept the inconvenience, then it’s probably time for a second opinion.

What are some of the common discrepancies that exist between the interactions of clients and pension providers? Where does the line end between specific terms and conditions and fundamental rights?

Be aware of what you’re being denied

As a client, it can be a little overwhelming to go over loads of conditions and rules set by your pension provider. However, reading the fine print and asking yourself questions such as what it could all mean, might save you from the clutches of uncooperative parties.

It is worth mentioning that professionals who are well-versed in this area can help you spot an anomaly within the internal policies of such pension providers.

Case in point; getting a second transfer value calculated for your pension shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, yet it seems pension providers are not all the same and some may even deny you this right.

To be fair, pension providers have their rights too and they may be well within them to deny or approve incoming inquiries but clients also have the right to choose what they want to do with their money and that shouldn’t be denied.

By restricting the option to transfer a member’s pension, there is a failure to provide legitimate support and rejecting a request for a single CETV (cash equivalent transfer value) annually demonstrates a clear lack of integrity.

Is it a regulated requirement or an internal policy?

It’s important to remain vigilant when unravelling all that pension providers put on their clients. Some may be well within the scope set by pension authorities across the board and yet, every now and then, it isn’t entirely impossible to find additional technicalities added to the internal policies of certain pension providers that cause their members inconvenience. These processes may be put in place and applied to all members of a certain scheme.

The provider might say that these terms ensure members are treated fairly or provide members with a more seamless experience when in actual fact, they really don’t.

Discrepancies would include rejecting a member’s request to seek an extension or the option to purchase a second CETV. These are clearly not regulated requirements but rather internal policies that must be challenged.

Ultimately, pension members are the priority. Some providers might forget that simple fact. Maybe they get carried away with developing a system that suffocates their members with complicated red tape instead of helping them along their pension journey. It remains a very real observation that people need to be careful of what they are being denied as this could be an anomaly.

Financial advisers have a keen sense of what is fundamentally right and wrong with regards to pension practices and processes. They can be very good at identifying when you aren’t being treated fairly.

Additionally, regulated financial advisers exist to help ensure your money is placed in the most efficient pension that is right for you. Recent studies have shown that people who opt for professional financial advice could end up with over £27,000 more pension wealth than those who don’t.

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