Where and how to get help on poor advice

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The Independent Online
Insurance companies and independent financial advisers are required by the Securities and Investments Board to review 350,000 of the most urgent cases where people may have been mis-sold a pension.

Where the company that sold the personal pension has gone bust, people will be contacted instead by a special pensions unit run by the Personal Investment Authority.

Among those to be reviewed are: People advised to switch from a company pension scheme, set up a private one, and shift their money into the new scheme.

Those persuaded to transfer money from a previous employer's scheme into a personal pension.

Those who had the option to join a company pension scheme but were advised to start a personal pension instead.

Anyone who feels they may be affected and who does not hear from an adviser or insurance company should contact them instead, or write to: SIB, Gavrelle House, Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8RA.

Address changes must be notified to the insurance company or adviser.

A questionnaire will be sent, fill it in and return it quickly. Help with the questions is available from local Citizens' Advice Bureaux.

Each case will then be reviewed by the company or the adviser, using both the questionnaire and their records. People will be notified within weeks of the outcome.

Those unhappy with the decision should write to the PIA Ombudsman at 1 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5EA.

SIB accepts that many more among the 1.5 million people affected may have suffered from bad advice, they are entitled to the same review and should write to the company asking for one.

The PIA has set up a Pensions Helpline on 071-417 7001, or fax on 071-417 8100, or write to the PIA Pensions Unit at the address above.

A free SIB leaflet - The Pension Transfer and Opt Out Review, What it Will Mean for You - is available from libraries and Citizens Advice Bureaux. Or write to PO BOX 701, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3FD.

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