Rowanmoor Personal Pensions enters administration

Rowanmoor Personal Pensions Limited (RPPL), is a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) operator authorised and regulated by the FCA. RPPL operates approximately 4,800 pensions, with assets under administration of £1.4bn.

On 31 August 2022, RPPL’s directors appointed Adam Stephens and Chris Allen of Evelyn Partners LLP (Evelyn Partners) (formerly Smith & Williamson LLP) as joint administrators (administrators). 

We set out the steps RPPL’s clients should take and advice on how to protect against scams.

If you are a client of RPPL, the administrators will be writing to you shortly to explain what this means for you and what action you should take. Although RPPL has entered administration, your pension assets are not affected. This is because the pension scheme assets (including cash) are held in trust by Rowanmoor Trustees Limited (RTL), which has not entered administration.

If you do not receive a letter from the administrators, you should contact them using the details below.

Being alert to scams

All consumers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud. If you are a RPPL client and are cold called by someone claiming to be from RPPL, Evelyn Partners or any other company claiming to be involved in the administration, please end the call and contact the administrators using the details below:

For further information on how to protect yourself from the most common types of scams visit our protect yourself from scams and Scamsmart pages.

What happens to RPPL now it is in administration?

Although RPPL is in administration, it remains an FCA-authorised firm and is still subject to our rules. It can continue to operate existing pensions whilst the administrators look for a new operator.

What happens to my pension?

The administrators will continue operating RPPL’s pension schemes meaning there are no immediate changes to the way your pension is handled, including if you are taking withdrawals from your pension via drawdown. The administrators will also continue to accept regular or ad hoc contributions into your pension.  

As stated above, your pension assets are not affected by RPPL entering administration. This is because the pension scheme assets (including cash) are held in trust by Rowanmoor Trustees Limited (RTL), which has not entered administration. 

The Rowanmoor group also operates small self-administered schemes (SSAS), a type of occupational pension. However, these schemes are not affected because they are operated by Rowanmoor Executive Pensions Limited (REPL), which has not entered administration. 

What happens next?

We are in regular contact with the administrators who are looking at the options available, including the transfer of RPPL’s clients to another FCA regulated SIPP operator. This option is likely to result in the least disruption to clients. 

If this is not possible, the administrators will look to pursue other options aimed at transferring SIPPs or returning pension assets back to clients.

The administrators will publish detailed guidance on the next steps for RPPL’s clients and creditors on a dedicated webpage. 

Why has RPPL entered administration?

RPPL received complaints about historic high-risk non-standard assets and for not carrying out adequate due diligence before accepting these assets into customers’ SIPPs. The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld a complaint which was representative of most of the complaints received.

RPPL sought professional advice about the liabilities arising from existing and potential complaints. Having done so, RPPL’s directors determined that the company was insolvent and should be placed into administration.

What should I do if I want to complain?

As RPPL is now in administration, you will no longer be able to refer a complaint about RPPL to the Financial Ombudsman Service

However, if you wish to make a claim about any losses experienced by transferring your pension to RPPL, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is open to claims against RPPL and will be able to investigate whether there are any claims that meet their qualifying conditions for compensation.

Some clients of RPPL may have already received FSCS compensation for advice to transfer their pension to RPPL where the financial adviser firm has failed. These clients can now also make a second FSCS claim for compensation about RPPL’s actions. Clients should be aware that FSCS will take into account compensation paid previously in calculating any compensation in respect of a claim against RPPL. 

If you are a client of RPPL you should visit the dedicated page on the FSCS website to find more about FSCS and its investigations. The FSCS will keep this page updated.

What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the compensation scheme for clients of UK authorised financial services firms and protects consumers when those firms are not able to meet protected claims against them. The FSCS has eligibility criteria in respect of the activities and the people who are covered. 

Clients of RPPL can find more general information about the FSCS on its website along with details on how to contact them directly.

If you have a claim with the FSCS against a different authorised firm (i.e. a financial adviser) relating to an investment within an RPPL SIPP, the FSCS will continue to process that claim. 

Do I need to use a third party to make a claim?

You do not need to use a claims management company (CMC) to make a claim against the firm or through the FSCS. CMCs may approach RPPL’s clients 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 RPPL who believe they have a complaint against the firm should now contact the FSCS in the first instance.

Source: FCA

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