Over 8 million consumers were advised to contract out of the state earnings related pension scheme (SERPS) now known as the second state pension or (S2P). The FSA commissioned an investigation into possible mis-selling in 2005 and concluded around 120,000 polices (1.5% of the total sold) may have been wrongly advised to contracted out of SERPS as they where above the pivotal age.
If you were aged over 40 for men or 45 for women and were advised to contract out of SERPS then you may have been wrongly advised.
SERPS – Pivotal Age
The decision to contract out or to contract back in hinges in the main on your age or to be more specific the pivotal age 45 for men 40 for woman. If you were over the pivotal age when advised to contract out arguably it could be seen as the wrong advice.
However, there are reasons why it may have been appropriate for you contract out of SERPS even if you were above the pivotal age. For example, you may have wanted the option to leave your pension savings to your dependants if you died before retirement, or you may have preferred control over your investments rather than relying on government pension policy.
Using SERPS Complaints Companies
There are a number of SERPS complaints companies offering to fight your case if you feel you were mis-sold, I would be very sceptical of their offerings and under no circumstances pay a fee up-front with the promise of compensation. The regulator has concluded no wide spread mis-selling, so you would have to prove your where wrongly advised.
In the first instance you should contact the company who advised you too contract out of SERPS if you cannot reach an agreement then you have recourse to the Financial Services Ombudsman. You certainly don't need the services of a SERPS mis-selling company.
What to Do!
Going forward taking financial advice in your current position is imperative; doing nothing is certainly not an option.