When you reach retirement you have to convert the capital in your personal pension pot into a regular pension if you want to receive an income from it. You can take up to 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum and, typically, most people convert the rest into an annuity through an insurance company. This offers a regular guaranteed income for life - a comforting prospect, or so you'd think.
But, as many consumers are beginning to discover, the complex nature of annuities (which can involve overwhelming piles of paperwork; find out more) and the poor advice available mean these products are failing - sometimes quite spectacularly - to deliver as expected. And, as the law stands now, there is no comeback. Once an annuity deal is done, it's for life.
If you bought a pension annuity we strongly recommend you read the statements below. If any ring true, then there's a very good chance you've been mis-sold your product.
1. You weren't given options
Many people have been scared into a quick purchase of an annuity, unaware of the other options available.
Your pension provider should have told you of your right to shop around. Your annuity rate depends on how much the insurance company decides to offer you. Amazingly, these rates can vary by up to 10%* for the same person shopping around between insurance companies. Most shocking of all, there is no extra income offered for loyalty, despite the fact that many people will have been saving with the same company for the best part of their lives. In fact, some providers offer extremely low annuity rates to their savers.
2. You weren't aware of hidden charges
You may have chosen to do your homework online and visited a comparison site to get a choice of providers. What you may not have realised is how limited the choice actually was, and that some of the options had hidden brokerage charges built into the price.
3. You were in poor health but receiving a standard rate of pension income
Insurers design the pensions they pay out taking into account increased life expectancy. If you had an underlying health condition, were a smoker or had worked in a hazardous occupation, then you could have received an enhanced rate - effectively more money each month - to reflect the risk that you may not live as long. This should have been taken into account at the point of sale.
4. You were sold an annuity that will stop paying out when you die
Were you married or in a civil partnership when you came to retirement? Were you financially responsible for somebody else and did you want your loved ones to continue to receive an income even when you were no longer around? If this was not taken into consideration and you were sold a single life annuity when a joint life annuity was more suitable, then your loved ones may miss out on income.
5. You wanted your pension payments to keep up with inflation
You may well have wanted your pension payments to increase over time in line with inflation to allow for rising costs. If you weren't given this option, then there's a chance you were mis-sold your annuity.
So what does all this mean to you?
Having read the statements above, you may now think that you were mis-sold your pension annuity. We're talking about precious retirement funds here, so you've every right to feel upset.
What can you do if you think you've been mis-sold an Annuity?
You have two main options open to you if you're looking to make a complaint about your Annuity. You can either claim on your own, or use an expert. At this point, we feel it's important to stress that we can't guarantee you a payout, more money or a faster service than you would get on your own (and we suggest you avoid anyone who says they can.)
But what we do offer is an honest, expert, stress-free service with no upfront costs. What's more, we're regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities, and guided by our own stringent Code of Conduct.
Understandably, you may want to know a little more about us - and whether we're right for you. If so, we'd love to Tell You A Bit More About Ourselves - and why over 700,000 people have trusted EMCAS with their claims.
If, on the other hand, you'd like us to work with you to get back what's rightfully yours, we're ready to help! If you've been mis-sold a pension annuity, you deserve financial justice. Request a call back from one of our friendly and expert advisers by Clicking Here.
We'll call you back at a time convenient to you and get the process started. You can then relax, knowing we're doing everything we can to get you the outcome you deserve.