The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has questioned the veracity of some financial advice on self-invested personal pension (SIPP) investments after an increase in calls to its helpline on the issue.
TPAS, a voluntary organisation staffed by pension professionals, said its advisers had dealt with several cases where the choice of SIPP was not appropriate for the client.
Its annual report said: "SIPPS meet a demand from financially-savvy investors. Such investors are able to make informed choices and are aware of their responsibilities with regard to investment choices and decisions. But some of the stories we hear from our helpline suggest that the choice of a SIPP was not appropriate for some people."
It added: "It is very difficult to handle calls from people who have lost considerable amounts of money as a result of failed investments, especially when there is little positive news we can give them. In some cases, we have to question whether the investments chosen were appropriate given their risk and the size of the policyholder's savings."
TPAS referred clients with complaints to as for a review of the advice from the financial advice firm, and subsequently if they are still unhappy to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The report added: "No investment is risk free, but it is important that potential risks are clearly spelt out to consumers and that they are clear about their own responsibilities when it comes to monitoring and managing their investments."
TPAS also reported a "small but gradual" increase in the number of enquiries about pension liberation.
It said people were being cold called by firms offering the chance to gain access to their pension fund cash. TPAS said it had started recording calls about pension liberation specifically, to monitor the trend.
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