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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.

Pension campaign and networking group The Pension Playpen - founded by pension expert Henry Tapper - is to relaunch in February as a fintech company aimed at the pensions industry.

Taking financial advice considerable boosts the confidence of UK retirement savers, according to a new report.

Divorce was the second biggest cause of a derailment of retirement plans according to the Great British Retirement Survey, but financial advice is often not taken during divorce proceedings.

Nearly 120 pension schemes have signed up to back a campaign launched by The Pensions Regulator to do more to fight pensions scams.

Pensions and investment planning software firm Selectapension has been acquired by the Perseus operating group of Canadian technology company Constellation Software.

The Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) and Age UK have called on the government to provide early access to the state pension for those within three years of their state pension age who are unlikely to be able to work again due to caring responsibilities, a disability, or long-term joblessness caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The XPS Pensions’ Transfer Watch monitoring service has flagged up 64% of recent pension transfers as showing signs of a potential scam, a record number.

I spent several hours one morning this week poring over my old G60 manual to help work out some ‘scheme specific protected tax-free cash’ calculations in respect of some pre-2006 occupational pension scheme benefits for an adviser.

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