Like millions of savers, Ronnie Taylor became locked into a pension with fees so high it failed to grow in 17 years.
Ronnie accumulated a tidy sum of £11,498 for his retirement over a two year period. A change in jobs and relocation meant he stopped paying into the fund in 1999. Like many savers Ronnie assumed his investment would continue to grow, providing a significant pot for his retirement – especially since the stock market had risen by 60% since he took the policy out. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite the case.
Like many of us Ronnie done some digging and discovered that his growing fund was actually declining – money swallowed up by fees and charges that he didn’t even know about.
Worse still when Ronnie requested to transfer the pension to another scheme, he was told he would lose around 50% of the value – meaning he would need to part with £5,000 of his hard earned cash. So whichever option Ronnie took he was set to lose. Exit the scheme and lose a huge chunk of its value, or stay in and risk having the entire fund eaten up with huge fees.
The worrying fact is that Ronnie’s case is one of thousands. Many savers in the Eighties and Nineties were sold rogue policies by salesmen spurred on by high commissions. In order to fund such wages, pensions companies loaded enormous charges into the pension policies – destroying the value of many unassuming customers savings.
The good news is the Financial Conduct Authority has introduced plans to tackle this legacy of rip-offs.