Diary of a pension change

edited 21 August 2012 at 6:40PM in Pensions, Annuities & Retirement Planning
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hugheskevihugheskevi Forumite
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Thought folk might have some interest in a proposed pension change I intend to play along with for a while. I will include as much detail as possible on this as it evolves, as most reports I've read about these things are second-hand and short on detail.

Today I received a call from a person saying he was from Henderson International, calling on a withheld number at 10:59am, asking whether I have a private pension. The person I spoke to asked for me by name, gave me his name and implied that I had contacted them in some regard (I have no recollection of this).

I am not sure where they got my name, mobile telephone number and postal address from but I don't think they knew anything else about me. I don't particularly keep these things confidential.

The person asked whether I had a pension, and that it was a personal pension and not an occupational one, which I confirmed it was (I have both an occupational DB pension and a totally separate SIPP).

Then they said that in the last year £750bn has been wiped from the value of pensions. They also mentioned that with all the stories about banks you need to be careful with financial dealings. They went on to say that they can offer me the chance to switch my pension to something called a SIPP [I had mentioned that I have a SIPP already, but they didn't seem to note that], and invest in carbon credits. They mentioned some performance figures for these carbon credits which I didn't really listen to, but sounded impressive. I vaguely recall something about price increasing from £16 to £95 or something like that, but may be incorrect about that.

They asked about the value of my pension, asking whether it was under £20,000 or £20,000 to £50,000. I have a bit more than £50,000 in my SIPP, but they seemed to just write down £50,000 - the line was quite poor at that stage so it was a bit confused.

They are sending me out a brochure in the post about this, and I am getting a call from one of their managers next week. When I get the brochure I'll add more to this thread.

There was no mention of reviewing my existing pension in any way, and the only questions about it was that it was not an occupational value, and it value (in bands). At no point has it been stated or implied that I would be transferring my pension to anyone other than Henderson International.
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Replies

  • Right. So with £16 going up to £95, you'd be looking at increasing your fund from £50K to nearer £300K!

    Did he not check your date of birth? You should have told him "Yesterday"!
  • As the first reply said...born yesterday. This must be a wind up surely? Sure you would take a withheld call then change your pension to them. B.S.
    :eek:Living frugally at 24 :beer:
    Increase net worth £30k in 2016 : http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=69797771#post69797771
  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    "play along with" is the key part of that first post. Carbon credits are a well known scam complete with FSA warning against them and hugheskevi undoubtedly knows that.
  • hugheskevihugheskevi Forumite
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    Another contact today (11:20).

    This was from somone more senior at the company, asking whether I had the brochure and what I thought of it. It was also mentioned that I had spoke to a junior consultant previously, and asked what had we covered. Unfortuantely as my post arrives after I depart for work and it was only sent yesterday, I haven't received the brochure yet.

    I was asked whether my pension was frozen or still being contributed to. I was also asked whether I invested at all. This part was quite confusing, as technical terms were being used, but not in their correct context. I said my primary investments in the SIPP at the moment are in ETF trackers.

    Moving on, the carbon credits have a floor price of £16, but will increase to between 40-90 euros soon, as companies have to catch up. Barclays have recently invested in these.

    There were a few questions about my existing pension, eg, what provider it was (about which I chose to be evasive).

    I was told that many pensions had lost money, but this could put me back on track. The credits are expected to return 11% per year (the exact words did not promise this, but there were no caveats, warnings or clarifications about uncertainty, etc).

    Then I was asked whether I knew if my pension was losing or making money - which I do know as it happens, it has increased by an equivalent interest rate of 7.5% per year (net of all charges) since it was started. After I mentioned that, they again said this would put me back on track.

    A bit of chat about planned retirement date and whether I was on course for this. I said I was currently 34 and aimed to retire at age 43, which they commented was about 10 years left.

    Then I was told that with a SIPP, I can get a 25% lump sum tax free at age 50 (for avoidance of doubt, they did say 50 that is not a typo) which not many pensions offer.

    I am getting another call tomorrow morning, by when I should have received the brochure.
  • edited 22 August 2012 at 8:35PM
    hugheskevihugheskevi Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2012 at 8:35PM
    Got the brochure. For anyone interested in learning more, their website is available here

    The covering letter includes:
    It is common knowledge in the UK that many pension plans have vastly underperformed in recent years, and recent reports in the news make grim reading, simply put its only set to get worse.
    Certified Emission Reductions or CER Carbon Credits as more commonly known are quickly becoming one of the most popular commodities to trade amongst investors who have decided to move away from the underperforming equity markets, and have grown tired of the rock bottom interest rates that high street banks are currently offering.

    And some highlights from the brochure:
    Move your pension as soon as possible to avoid bitter disappointment in the future.
    As with any investment, independent advice should be required before moving ahead. A free review by one of our agents is offered...Contact us today for a free 5 minute review from one of our partnered IFA
    If your earnings are over £130,000 you can also claim higher rate tax relief of 40%

    Throughout, they refer to contracted-out protected rights and Alternatively Secured Pensions, as well as the old Annual Allowance and say you can access pension payments from age 50 - other references demonstrate the document was written in 2009/10 and has not been updated.

    The brochure also contained grammatical errors confusing there and their (also on website), your and you're as well as a couple of spelling typos and inconsistent capitalisation of Henderson international.

    However, aside from being out-of-date and not having been properly proof-read, the brochure actually wasn't that bad - a lot more professional and detailed than I was expecting, and quite accurate about some quite detailed aspects of pensions.

    Still not clear to me exactly which places exactly they are making money. So far it is clear that they are acting as an introducer, with a fee of £299.

    You have to sign that you are going to use an IFA on an execution-only basis, besides that they outline a normal transfer process with you automatically buying carbon credits in a SIPP. It is not made clear to what extent (if at all) the external SIPP provider and IFA are all connected.

    I await my call from their more senior person tomorrow :) I think I am going to be keen to learn more :D
  • LintonLinton Forumite
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    Great stuff.

    Looking on whois we find that their website was created on the 6th July 2012. So the paint's still wet!! I like the "plc" touch. I wonder if they are a plc.

    The whois info gives the postcode as RM18 8EL. A quick look on google earth gives us what appears to be an ex-council terrace in Thurrock, and rather depressing it looks.

    And their address given on the website, together with a nice little map showing the location of their corporate HQ, turns out to be serviced office accommodation and suppliers of "virtual offices". Thanks Google!

    A benefit of the virtual office is described:
    "If you need the impression and support of a full-time office without the associated costs then you'll appreciate the benefits of our virtual office solutions."

    Now about this claim to be a plc. Companies House can help here. Henderson International Associates (the name of the company that registered the website) was incorporated on 26th June 2012. It of course isnt a plc as one would understand it, rather a Private Limited Company.

    The whois records provide a name should the FSA want to take an interest.
  • hugheskevi wrote: »
    Got the brochure. For anyone interested in learning more, their website is available here

    Registrant:
    Henderson international Associates
    8 Monarch Close
    Tilbury, Essex RM18 8EL
    UK

    Domain name: HENDERSONINTERNATIONALPLC.COM


    Administrative Contact:
    Henriot , Samuel [email protected]
    8 Monarch Close
    Tilbury, Essex RM18 8EL
    UK
    +44.7826544043
    Technical Contact:
    Master, Host [email protected]
    Lister Pavilion
    Kelvin Campus
    West of Scotland Science Park
    Glasgow, Scotland G20 0SP
    GB
    +44.3707555066 Fax: +44.1419316785



    Registration Service Provider:
    Easyspace Ltd, [email protected]
    +44.3707555066
    +44.1419316785 (fax)
    http://www.easyspace.com
    This company may be contacted for domain login/passwords,
    DNS/Nameserver changes, and general domain support questions.


    Registrar of Record: Easyspace Ltd.
    Record last updated on 06-Jul-2012.
    Record expires on 06-Jul-2015.
    Record created on 06-Jul-2012.

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS2.NAMECITY.COM
    NS1.NAMECITY.COM


    Domain status: clientTransferProhibited
    clientUpdateProhibited

    The Data in the EASYSPACE Registrar WHOIS database is provided to you by
    EASYSPACE for information purposes only, and may be used to assist you in
    obtaining information about or related to a domain name's registration record.

    EASYSPACE makes this information available "as is," and does not guarantee its accuracy.

    By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this data only for
    lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to:
    a) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail,
    telephone, or facsimile of mass, unsolicited, commercial advertising or
    solicitations to entities other than the data recipient's own existing
    customers; or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that
    send queries or data to the systems of any Registry Operator or
    ICANN-Accredited registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register
    domain names or modify existing registrations.

    The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or other use of this Data is
    expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of EASYSPACE.

    EASYSPACE reserves the right to terminate your access to the EASYSPACE
    WHOIS database in its sole discretion, including without limitation, for excessive
    querying of the WHOIS database or for failure to otherwise abide by this policy.

    EASYSPACE reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.

    By submitting this query, you agree to abide by these terms.

    NOTE: THE WHOIS DATABASE IS A CONTACT DATABASE ONLY. LACK OF A DOMAIN
    RECORD DOES NOT SIGNIFY DOMAIN AVAILABILITY.
  • Samuel Henriot. Also Director of "Cromwell Marketing Ltd" of 8 Monarch Close, Tilbury. They are "Plumbers"

    http://www.192.com/atoz/business/tilbury-rm18/plumbers/cromwell-marketing-ltd/3688bab04fe4719f6693032bbbd8b2f3fcd1ef5d/comp/

    So while you're buying Carbon Credits for your SIPP, you can get your toilet unblocked and washing machine plumbed in.

    How convenient.
  • LOL :rotfl: I am loving the way you have taken this apart!
  • Can't resist joining in.

    Samuel (age 21-22) also director or secretary of
    PROMETHEUS TELECOMMUNICATIONS LTD
    HENDERSON INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATES LIMITED
    TRI STAR SOLUTIONS (LONDON) LIMITED [see link for more info]
    CROMWELL MARKETING LIMITED
    SH MARKETING LTD
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