I dont offer advice in connection with the Transfer of Final Salary Pension Schemes and havent done so for many years. Now one of the industry’s most respected firms has withdrawn from the market. O&M Pension Advice will stop offering its pension transfer advisory service from 1 July.
The firm, has now begun the process of winding down the business and has already stopped accepting new cases.
O&M will continue to produce transfer value analysis reports for advisers using its transfer bureau service, but will not be able to execute any advice.
The firm was not able to secure professional indemnity cover for its advisory services, according to director Phil Billingham, contributing to its closure.
He says: “When I took over the business in January, we had plans to become directly regulated with the FCA but unfortunately, a hardening of the professional indemnity market in the wake of the British Steel fiasco, together with unexpected difficulties with our arranged PI insurance, has forced our hand. Sourcing commercially acceptable PI cover at short notice has proved impossible.”
The move to close down the advice service mirrors Selectapension’s decision to do the same thing last year.
And why do you tell me all this, I hear you ask? Because the transfer of Final Salary Pension schemes is fraught with danger for both the client and the Adviser and is a business that is becoming less and less attractive in my opinion. (It was never very attractive to me if the truth be known). The British Steel fiasco over their Scheme has, I suppose, been the proverbial straw the broke the camel’s back.