Forthplus Pensions Limited (Forthplus), is a SIPP operator authorised and regulated by the FCA. On 19 October 2021 the directors, appointed Andrew Poxon, Alex Cadwallader and Barry Stewart of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as joint administrators (administrators). The administrators are all qualified insolvency practitioners. This article sets out the steps Forthplus clients should take and advice on how to protect against scams.
If you are a client of Forthplus, the administrators will be writing to you shortly to explain what this means for you and what action you should take. If you do not receive a letter from the administrators in the next 7 days, you should contact the administrators.
Being alert to scams
All customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud. If you are a client of Forthplus and are cold called by someone claiming to be from Forthplus, Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group or any other company claiming to be involved in the Forthplus administration, end the call and contact the administrators:
- email: [email protected]
- call: 0161 5324621
See more on how to protect yourself from the most common types of scams. ScamSmart pages on our website also provide advice on how to avoid investment and pension scams.
What happens to Forthplus now it’s in administration?
Although Forthplus is in administration, it remains an FCA-authorised firm and is still subject to our rules. It can continue to operate existing pensions while the administrators look for a new operator.
The administrators will continue to make regular payments from clients’ SIPPs for anyone already in drawdown.
The administrators will also continue to accept regular contributions from clients into their SIPPs. This will be kept under review and if this changes the administrators will contact any clients affected.
Pension assets are held by Forthplus Trustees Limited, which has not entered Administration.
The administrators will be writing to all Forthplus clients to explain next steps and any actions that need to be taken. If you are a client of Forthplus and you haven’t heard from the administrator within 7 days contact them using these details:
What happens next?
We are in regular contact with the administrators who are looking at the options available, including the transfer of Forthplus clients to another FCA regulated SIPP operator. This option is likely to result in the least disruption to Forthplus clients.
As such, Forthplus, in conjunction with Leonard Curtis, conducted an accelerated marketing process prior to the Administration to identify an alternative FCA regulated SIPP Administrator with the relevant experience and permissions.
The administrators will be publishing detailed guidance on the next steps for Forthplus clients and creditors on a dedicated webpage where regular updates will be provided.
Why has Forthplus entered administration?
Forthplus was unable to meet its regulatory capital adequacy requirements and the Board recognised it was no longer able to operate. This was compounded by a large number of complaints at the Financial Ombudsman Service related to their due diligence before taking on pension savers. The FCA published Final Guidance to SIPP Operators in 2013 on the due diligence we expect them to conduct.
The ombudsman service has issued several representative provisional assessments which found that Forthplus had not undertaken adequate due diligence and therefore had not treated its customers fairly and reasonably.
As Forthplus did not agree with those provisional assessments, the ombudsman service was preparing to issue final decisions. Had the complaints been upheld and final decisions issued, further claims against Forthplus were expected.
Following advice from Leonard Curtis the directors made the decision to place the firm into administration.
What should I do if I want to complain?
Forthplus is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS protects consumers when authorised firms fail and can pay compensation of up to £85,000. If you are a client of Forthplus you should visit FSCS by using this link to find more details about how to claim for any losses incurred as a result of transferring your pension to Forthplus. The FSCS will investigate whether there are any claims that meet the qualifying conditions for compensation.
There is more information about the FSCS on its website or you can call 0800 678 1100 to speak to them directly.
What should I do if I have an existing complaint against Forthplus?
The administrators will be writing to you to explain next steps and the process to make a complaint.
If you have already referred a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, you don’t need to take any action. As the firm is in administration the ombudsman service will contact you in due course to ask for permission to refer the case to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Do I need to use a third party to make a claim?
You do not need to use a claims management company to make a claim against the firm through the FSCS. Claims management companies (CMCs) may approach clients of Forthplus offering help to bring claims against it. Be cautious if you are approached by one of these companies.
For most consumers, there is no benefit to using a third party to make a claim. Any clients of Forthplus who believe they have a complaint against the firm should contact the FSCS.