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The FCA is to consult on introducing a new type of open-ended fund which invests in long-term illiquid assets.

This month we celebrate 15 years since pension simplification was introduced – Happy Crystal Anniversary all!

DB pension transfer values showed a recovery in March after dipping in February, according to the monthly XPS Transfer Watch.

The number of people who want to retire early has more than doubled during the pandemic from 4% to 10% and more people have clearer retirement plans.

The pension system is failing to support mothers and career breaks taken by women are a driving factor behind the gender pension gap, according to a new report.

Two in three UK adults aged 45-65 view the government as doing “terribly” in its attempts to make using Pension Wise the norm for pension guidance, according to new research.

More than 1,000 pension savers were hit every working day in 2020 by the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA), according to new analysis.

The Treasury recently released its consultation paper on how the increase in normal minimum pension age (NMPA) is implemented. We have known for several years that the increase from age 55 to 57 was planned to take effect from 6 April 2028, so there is no surprise in the increase itself.

This time two years ago I wrote about when not to use the pension annual allowance. This year this is particularly pertinent.

The FCA has begun civil proceeding in the High Court against Paul Steel for providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice.


It has also secured in interim injunction which freezes the assets of both Mr Steel and his partner Ms Foster up to the value of £7m, pending a further hearing.

The regulator said Mr Steel’s firm, Estate Matters Financial (in liquidation), contravened the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice, leading consumers to exit defined benefit pension schemes when it was not in their best interests to do so.

The regulator added that Mr Steel, Estate Matters Financial’s director and co-owner, was knowingly concerned in the contravention.

The FCA alleges that Mr Steel breached FCA requirements by undertaking a course of conduct which resulted in the removal of the firm’s assets, leaving it unable to meet potential liabilities for unsuitable advice, while enabling him to retain the significant profits that accrued from the provision of the advice and from ongoing fees.

An injunction was also obtained against Ms Foster on the basis that she may be holding or controlling assets owned by her partner Mr Steel.

The FCA has also asked the Court to make a restitution order requiring Mr Steel to compensate consumers who have suffered losses as a result of receiving unsuitable pension transfer advice.

No trial date has been set.

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