Mis sold SIPP Claims
What is a SIPP?
Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) are similar to Personal Pensions offered by many leading insurance companies such as Standard Life, Prudential and Scottish Widows but with the major difference being the range of allowable investments for the policyholder.
Whereas ‘traditional’ Personal Pension policyholders can choose from ‘mainstream’ investment funds, SIPP members can additionally or alternatively invest in projects and businesses that are not authorised to be held in traditional Personal Pensions.
Who offers SIPPs?
SIPPs are offered by a number of insurance companies (‘pension providers’) and also by established specialist SIPP provider firms.
What other assets may be held within a SIPP?
SIPPs may buy, hold and sell a wide range of investments including (but by no means limited to): time shares in overseas holiday accommodation in new developments (see Freedom Bay), overseas forestry, plots of residential building land in the UK and abroad (with or without existing planning permission), self-storage units (similar to Big Yellow; see Store Pods), and shares in companies (often incorporated overseas and planning to trade overseas). Almost all of these ‘alternative investments’ are not regulated in this country, a fact that has contributed to the problems suffered by investors in many of these ‘ventures’.
So, why doesn’t everyone invest in a SIPP, rather than a traditional Personal Pension?
Over the last couple of decades, most Personal Pension providers have vastly expanded the range of investment funds available to their policyholders. This range is more than broad enough to answer the investment needs of the vast majority of personal pension policyholders without the need for any of the unregulated.
Moreover, it was initially envisaged that unregulated SIPP investments should usually be appropriate only to higher risk investors or those who use their SIPP for only a modest part of their overall invested wealth. Unfortunately, the last five or six years have seen an explosion in popularity of SIPPs for investors whose entire invested wealth is put at risk with assets of questionable legitimacy.
What is the problem with the SIPPs that have gone so horribly wrong in recent years?
It is true that large numbers of SIPP investors have lost a lot of money over recent years: to our certain knowledge ranging from around £10,000 to many hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, it is important to understand that it isn’t the SIPPs that have gone wrong; it is, in a number of cases, the investments held within the SIPPs that have caused the problems. Contact us to handle your SIPP claim.
What kinds of problems have been caused by failed SIPP investments?
To give just a few examples:
- Timeshares in villas or apartments, usually in exotic locations.
! Not built on time, if ever (Harlequin, Freedom Bay etc)
- Self-storage units (notably, Store Pods)
! Little or no income generated after the first two year guarantee period
- Overseas forestry and farming
! Very low or no yields, then land becomes worthless
- Residential land in the UK
! Investor buys expensive plot of land that has little or no chance of ever being granted planning permission. Often ‘land locked’ (i.e. no access!)
- Residential land overseas
! The SIPP can hold the land, but not if or when development starts. The land must then be sold….but to who?
- Shares in companies, usually situated overseas
! Invariably not quoted on a recognised stock exchange, so little or no chance of being able to sell the shares to realise cash when benefits are required for retirement
Find out more about SIPP investments to watch out for.
Mis sold SIPP claims: how can United Claims Management help?
There are a number of avenues we can explore to recover investor’s money in failed investments, primarily depending on whether the investment adviser is authorised in the UK and how easy it is to place a value on the SIPP investments.
We are usually able to give an idea of the nature of a likely SIPP claim after gathering relevant facts during a first telephone conversation. If you then want to proceed with our suggestion we can start to make further investigations for a SIPP claim on your behalf (with no up-front fees).
What if you don’t make a SIPP claim?
If an investment yields no income or gains, or defaults altogether, the worst option for the SIPP member is to do nothing. Whilst ever the SIPP is open, and particularly where it holds assets (whether or not of any obvious value) the SIPP provider will ‘forever’ levy annual charges, typically ranging from £400 to £800. If and when the client’s money in the SIPP runs out, the SIPP provider is entitled to approach the investor personally for payment of the fees.
Contact United Claims Management to investigate mis sold SIPP claims on your behalf.