Featured on BBC One’s Northern Justice & Morning Live



BBC One’s Morning Live – Compensation for final salary pension transfer victim

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TLW’s Alex Laws featured on the BBC One programme ‘Morning Live’ on Wednesday 18th January. She spoke to her client, Kevin O’Melia, about recovering compensation in his defined benefit pension transfer claim.

Out of the blue

HGV driver, Kevin O’Melia had been cold-called one day by a financial adviser and offered a free pension review. He knew he had an old ‘frozen’ pension from a previous job but didn’t really know how much it was worth or how well it had performed. He agreed to the pension review.

The adviser met with Kevin at home and told him that he had concerns about the company his pension was with and that he might lose all his money if they went out of business. Despite saying he had a cautious attitude to risk, Kevin was advised to transfer out of the workplace pension into a private pension. The adviser told him there would be a fee for transferring the money and also an ongoing management charge.

Kevin had accumulated a final salary pension pot worth £242,000 and was hoping to retire at age 55. The final salary pension scheme would have allowed him to do this. He was told that his work pension would be frozen. However, the unsuitable financial advice he received from the adviser meant Kevin transferred his pension, losing the defined benefit (a guaranteed sum on retirement) in the process. Kevin argued that the loss of the benefits as a result of the transfer had not been explained to him by the financial adviser.

In addition, the financial adviser took a 5% transfer fee, which worked out at £12,500 and charged £1,500 per year to manage the new funds. Given Kevin’s age and retirement plans, the new pension would have had to make significant gains in a short space of time to cover these fees alone.

Cold calling in relation to financial products, was banned in January 2019 and anyone who was contacted in this way and acted on unsuitable advice has the option to make a claim for compensation.

Going through all of the paperwork and investigating the financial adviser, Alex helped Kevin with his case, making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a Government-backed body that investigates complaints between financial institutions and their customers.

Alex helped Kevin achieve a successful outcome with a binding decision from the FOS, in effect putting him back in the position he would have been had the transfer not happened and getting his retirement plans back on track.

Kevin’s successful claim was featured on a ‘Cost of Living Special’ edition of BBC One’s Morning Live programme broadcast on 18th January 2023.

Reflecting on Kevin’s situation, Alex said in the programme:

“If you have a final salary pension, it is really very rare that it’s in your best interest to transfer out of that”.

Kevin added:

“At the end, I got tricked just to get it transferred so they could have my transfer money. Don’t sign anything, if you can, check them out in different ways…and hopefully you won’t end up like I did.”

The full programme is available to subscribers on BBC iPlayer here.

This isn’t the first time Alex has appeared on the BBC. In Autumn 2022, Alex was featured on BBC One’s ‘Northern Justice’ programme where she and the TLW financial mis-selling team helped a client, Andrew Morgan, recover a considerable amount of money lost to a high-risk storage unit investment scheme.

As financial mis-selling compensation specialists, TLW Solicitors has a team dedicated to defined benefit, also known as a company or final salary pension, transfer mis-selling claims. The defined benefit transfer team has access to a range of experienced industry experts who can help calculate how much money was lost as a result of unsuitable pension transfer advice.

If you, a friend or a loved one were advised to transfer out of a pension scheme and feel you have lost out financially, please get in touch to discuss your options and whether we can deal with your case on a ‘no-win, no-fee basis.’

Call us on 0800 169 5925 or use our online forms below and our team will contact you for an initial, no-obligation discussion.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible as strict time limits can apply.

Peter McKenna

“We were delighted to have been chosen by the BBC to feature on Morning Live. This highlights the invaluable work the team at TLW do for our clients.”

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