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Armed Forces Pension Transfers

If you received advice to transfer your Armed Forces Pension into a SIPP or Private Pension you should check if that advice was suitable for you.

Unsuitable pension transfer advice has caused many Service Personnel to suffer £1000’s in losses to their pension. As well as a loss of guaranteed benefits that come with these types of pension schemes.

Many are also invested in unsuitable high-risk and unregulated investments, and now paying high fees and charges.

If you have received unsuitable advice to transfer your Armed Forces pension you may be able to claim compensation.

How have Armed Forces Pensions been mis sold?

Armed Forces Pensions were subject to legislative change bought in by the government in 2015. This was following recommendations from the Hutton report regarding the long-term performance and structure of Public Service Pension Schemes.

Whilst these recommendations were intended to stabilise the future of these pension schemes, they unintentionally created a “transfer deadline”.

This left scheme members open to potential pension transfer scammers and negligent financial advice.

Up until the 2015 deadline, thousands of members were purposely targeted by sales companies, persuading them to move their pensions so they’d be better off in retirement.

These companies are known as pension introducers and many are not authorised by the FCA to give pension transfer advice.

Unfortunately, some unregulated pension introducers received commissions for recommending unsuitable investments to AFPS members regardless of the consequences.

Using tempting cash incentives, tax free lump sums and the false guarantee of “unlocking” pension pots early, it’s understandable that members opted to try and make the most of their future nest eggs.

Read Veteran Mr G’s story. He transferred his AF pension after being approached by an unregulated introducer. Here’s how we helped him make a claim for mis-selling.

Why was it unsuitable to transfer from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme?

Transferring out of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme would only have been suitable for some members in exceptional circumstances.

This is because Defined Benefit or Final Salary pension schemes, like Forces Pensions, are considered very valuable. This is mainly due to the benefits that come as part of these schemes. It’s also unrealistic that they would achieve the same level of benefits from the new plan.

Defined Benefit schemes don’t usually have the same costs that private arrangements such as SIPPSs have.

So a pension transfer from a scheme like this into a private pension, such as a SIPP, would be considered an unsuitable option in most cases.

Most regulated financial advisers would not have made a recommendation to transfer out of the AFPS, unless it was in their client’s best interests.

But some Financial Advisers did.

Financial Provision Solutions Ltd

Financial Provision Solutions Ltd, were a financial advice firm based in Manchester. They were formerly known as PSTG Solutions Ltd.

They have been linked to pension transfer mis-selling cases involving members of the armed Forces Pension Scheme.

Financial Provision Solutions were declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in September 2019.

The company went into liquidation after agreeing to voluntarily wind up as it could not continue due to its liabilities.

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme which protects customers of regulated financial services firms.

They usually declare a firm in default when they are satisfied there are claims and that the firm is unlikely to be able to pay compensation. This means they will step in and pay compensation. However the amount they can pay is capped.

You may be able to make a claim against Financial Provision Solutions Ltd if there’s evidence that they gave unsuitable advice about your pension transfer.


Caledonian International Associates

Caledonian International Associates and David Clark are known to have been actively involved in Armed Forces pension transfers.

Between 2012-2013 David Clark was responsible for introducing over 500 clients to SIPP provider Carey pensions (now known as Options Pensions).

These clients transferred out of their Armed Forces Pensions scheme and into a SIPP with Carey’s.

This then allowed some clients to invest in Friends Provident International Reserve Bond. Funds within this bond have since been suspended.

David Clark and Caledonian were not authorised to give pension advice.

Caledonian also had relationships with an investment provider called Creechurch Capital.  And Harbour Pensions –  a pension provider based in Malta which was purchased by the STM Group.


Thousands of Armed Forces Personnel have been affected by Pension Mis-selling

We believe the true extent of the military pensions scandal is far worse than previously thought. In fact thousands of Armed Forces personnel, both serving and retired, were targeted prior to 2013 and up to 2015.  

As a freedom of information request revealed between 2013 and 2015, around 3,600 former service personnel transferred out of the MoD pension scheme.

What Can I Do if I Transferred my Armed Forces Pension?

If you transferred your Armed Forces Pension as a result of unsuitable advice from a regulated company or person, you may be able to claim compensation for mis-selling.

We are currently representing many Ex-Forces Personnel who may have had their future pension entitlement compromised by negligent Financial Advice.

If you want some free initial advice call and have a chat with one of our team. We can tell you if we think you may have a case and advise you of your options if you want to make a claim.

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Important Information!

You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.

It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.