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  • FIRST POST
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 18th Oct 19, 6:22 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 0Thanks
    AngelCakes
    Plea for help re Pension Scam/Missale
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 19, 6:22 PM
    Plea for help re Pension Scam/Missale 18th Oct 19 at 6:22 PM
    Hello.

    I have a pension with a company called Metlife, sold to me by an IFA.
    It promised a guaranteed pension every year, with a variable tax free lump sum.
    It also had something called lock ins, which meant the fund , once it reached a certain amount, coukd not reduce.

    For a few years i was sent a ‘header sheet’ statement, which gave the same income on retirement on it, at age 60, year after year, although the fund was different...just as i expected.
    Then last year the statement arrived with a reduced income on it.

    I contacted the adviser who was perplexed, and Metlife.
    Metlife told me that although there literature stated “guaranteed income” , it didnt mean it was guaranteed...it was just the name of the fund.

    I spoke to the fca ombudsman, who said I should seek redress through the fscs, as it seems the adviser had got the wrong end of the stick, and as the advisers network wasnt in operation anymore, I should complain to them

    So i completed a complaint to the fscs, which took many many hours to complete, upload, highlight docs etc.

    7 months later, i have received a resolution letter , which basically read that the adviser was not culpable because they used Metlifes documentation as their basis, and it was Metlifes documents that used the word guaranteed income.

    They have said now i should contact Metlife, then the ombudsman if i get no joy, and then if the ombudsman thinks its metlifes fault fine, but if not, I am to go back and to launch an appeal to the fscs .

    I could cry i really could. I am now on meds through the stress of all this. I dont know who or what to believe anymore. I dont really have time on my side to waste.
    I have been to see a chartered ifa who believes there were faults on both sides, both metlife and the ifa,

    Should i therefore
    A. Appeal straight away to the fscs,
    B. Do as the fscs say and start the merrygo round again
    C. Could i do both things simultaneously
    D. Hang myself from my apple tree!

    Please help if you can as I am at a loss.

    Thankyou for reading this.
Page 1
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 18th Oct 19, 7:46 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
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    SonOf
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:46 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:46 PM
    Appeal the FSCS decision. However, they are only allowed to review the complaint against the adviser. If the FSCS dont think the adviser is fault, then the appeal is unlikely to change that.

    At the same time, raise a complaint to Metlife and include a copy of what the FSCS have said about the failures on the Metlife side.

    Once metlife give their response, if you don't like it, you can then refer it to the FOS.
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 18th Oct 19, 7:51 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    AngelCakes
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:51 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:51 PM
    Thankyou SonOf.

    If i do as you state , and metlife chuck out, and i got to the fscs appeal simultaneously, and they dont change, and then i go to the fos....what will i do if the fos say its the fscs’s domain? Can i re appeal?
    Is one the ‘king’ over the other?


    Iam dreading doing all this again but I cant leave it, otherwise I am truly in dire straits.
    Even if i ‘employed?’ someone to do it for me, I suppose i would have to go through it all with them anyway so its just as bad on the nerves, plus i wouldnt know who to contact anyway
    • shortseller09
    • By shortseller09 18th Oct 19, 8:20 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    shortseller09
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 19, 8:20 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 19, 8:20 PM
    The FSCS is the route if the IFA is no longer trading. If the fault is with Metlife, then the FOS is the way forward. As Sonof says, complain to Metlife and include the FSCS information. If rejected, then go to the FOS which is the last port of call . If unsuccessful there the only route is via the courts.
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 19th Oct 19, 12:13 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    AngelCakes
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:13 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:13 PM
    Should i seek advice do you think, and if so, from who? Thankyou
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 19th Oct 19, 12:50 PM
    • 65,342 Posts
    • 57,511 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:50 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 12:50 PM
    I contacted the adviser who was perplexed, and Metlife.
    Metlife told me that although there literature stated “guaranteed income” , it didnt mean it was guaranteed...it was just the name of the fund.
    Originally posted by AngelCakes
    Your perplexed advisor should at least be able to explain what the "guarantees" relate to and how they work.

    Looking at the Metlife website ceratin products do carry guarantees of some kind.
    ““there really is no such thing as ‘the future’, singular. There are only multiple, unforeseeable futures, which will never lose their capacity to take us by surprise.””
    ― Niall Ferguson
    • sandsy
    • By sandsy 19th Oct 19, 2:35 PM
    • 1,519 Posts
    • 937 Thanks
    sandsy
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 19, 2:35 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 19, 2:35 PM
    Have you been paying for advice each year out of your product? Has the cost increased at all? That would reduce the guaranteed income on these products.
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 19th Oct 19, 5:00 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 2,023 Thanks
    SonOf
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 19, 5:00 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 19, 5:00 PM
    Metlife had a range of non standard products with varying levels of capital security. Many of these used the term "guaranteed" prior to the credit crunch when the word "guaranteed" was more loosely used than it is post credit crunch.

    I say non-standard in respect of what was offered in the mainstream vs what they offered. A few American companies came over to the UK and tried to offer a range of third-way products which allowed the use of consumer-friendly terms like "guaranteed" but they had a number of flaws and were not actually guaranteed. This has actually resulted in a number of advice firms that sold these plans suffering upheld complaints.

    For example, on the investment product that had a lock-in once the unit price increased and could not go lower than x% than that locked in value. That sounds like a guarnatee of x%. However, to meet product and adviser charges, they sold units in the plan. This meant the unit count was going down. And the capital "guarantee" was actually a unit price guarantee. So, with a declining unit count, the capital could never fully guaranteed. There was also a cost of the guarantees as the underlying investments used the blackrock index trackers.

    The generic documentation for metlife combined the different versions. The personalised documentation would have specific terms chosen.

    The secured income version was not the same as the protected growth version. The secure income version would guarantee to pay an income for life, even if the investment value ran out. However, the value would go down as well as up and had no protection applied to it. The secure growth version had lock-ins on capital value but did not provide a secure income. There was the ability to take the income option early and not take the income but defer it to boost the figure when it was eventually taken.

    7 months later, i have received a resolution letter , which basically read that the adviser was not culpable because they used Metlifes documentation as their basis, and it was Metlifes documents that used the word guaranteed income.
    I wonder if this confusion comes from the FSCS using the generic documentation that covers all the options rather than the specific illustrations/report that would have used the personalised illustrations.
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 20th Oct 19, 1:45 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    AngelCakes
    • #9
    • 20th Oct 19, 1:45 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Oct 19, 1:45 PM
    Hi there. Thanks for the response. The fscs letter say
    Last edited by AngelCakes; 22-10-2019 at 4:09 PM. Reason: Too personal
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 20th Oct 19, 1:54 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AngelCakes
    It was partly based on a quote from Metlife and the suitability letter provided by the adviser.
    I am trying to upload a photo but it is asking me for a URL, so dont know how to.
    • AngelCakes
    • By AngelCakes 20th Oct 19, 1:56 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AngelCakes
    Sandsy answer
    Have you been paying for advice each year out of your product? Has the cost increased at all? That would reduce the guaranteed income on these products.[/QUOTE]



    Yes , i have. And when i asked the adviser , and in the letter he sent,he said the beauty of the plan was that it was unaffected by any commissions paid .
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 20th Oct 19, 1:59 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 2,023 Thanks
    SonOf
    Our understanding of your complaint is that you were advised to transfer to a guaranteed pension with MetLife in 2013. You were told that this offered a guaranteed income and a lump sum; the only thing that was not known was how much more than the guarantee you might get. However, once it had increased above a certain value, it could not go back down again.
    That is not the secure income option. That is the secure growth version.

    and you have been told that “secured income option” and “guaranteed income” were just the names of the features of the policy, rather than meaning the figures were guaranteed.
    Technically, the term secure income is a generic phrase to refer to an income method that is secure. i.e. annuity or defined benefit pension income. Some with the phrase guaranteed income. Most pension illustrations are based on the regulator's rules and require a secure income option/guaranteed income option to be given in the illustration. Illustrations are synthetic projections using a range of hypothetical figures based on the rules of the day (which are reviewed periodically and changed).

    Obviously, we only have a limited bit of information here but I am struggling to see a missale. I can certainly see you misunderstood the illustrations. But that does not make it a missale.

    What exactly has gone wrong for you? You haven't mentioned what caused you to complain in the first place.

    edit: additional posts made after I wrote the above...
    Yes , i have. And when i asked the adviser , and in the letter he sent,he said the beauty of the plan was that it was unaffected by any commissions paid .
    The adviser no longer exists. So, you are not paying an ongoing charge to the adviser. Any commission that existed on the plan would be retained by Metlife. Commission was banned from 2013 but existed in pre-2013 contracts and the commission payment was not always explicitly the same as the charges. Although from memory, I believe it was in the case of metlife.
    Last edited by SonOf; 20-10-2019 at 2:01 PM.
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