Putting things right: case 1

Mr G complained that the administrator of his self-invested personal pension plan (SIPP) caused him financial loss in the way it dealt with his request to transfer his pension funds to another SIPP provider.

The administrator did not tell Mr G that the small proportion of his SIPP assets invested in a hedge fund would be more difficult to transfer than the rest. They sold the other assets of his SIPP as soon as they got his transfer request.

They deposited the proceeds in a cash account bearing a low rate of interest until the hedge fund investment could be sold. Then they transferred all his funds to the new SIPP provider.

We upheld Mr G’s complaint. We said the administrator should have made it clear to Mr G what they were proposing to do.

The administrator had not given Mr G the opportunity to decide whether he wanted to remain fully invested until it was possible to transfer all his investments, including the hedge fund.

We ordered the administrator to make good the loss by paying the difference between the notional transfer value available to him if all his assets had been sold on the same day and the actual amount transferred.

We said the money should be paid into his new SIPP arrangement with interest using the base rate for the time being quoted by the reference banks.