Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions allow members of workplace schemes to pay extra contributions to build up additional benefits. FSAVCs are provided by insurance companies and were sold by independent financial advisers or by the insurance companies direct sales force. FSAVCs provided by insurance companies differ from in-house AVC (additional voluntary contributions) which are offered by employers or the trustees of the in-house scheme. AVCs tend to provide better value for money, and some schemes have the option to make additional contributions after you have left the workplace. This is known as an added years AVC. Additional service bought this way is equivalent to benefits accrued in a final salary pension.
Have I been mis-sold?
You may have been mis-sold an FSAVC if:
- You were not made aware by the adviser of the in-house AVC alternatives that you could have contributed to as an alternative to the FSAVC.
- The adviser failed to explain the generic differences between an FSAVC and an AVC.
- You were not informed that the AVC was likely to provide better value for money, with an FSAVC, all the costs would be borne by the policy holder.
- The FSAVC was dependent on investment returns and therefore carried an unacceptable degree of risk.
- The adviser failed to determine your attitude to risk before recommending an FSAVC.
- The adviser failed to communicate that in some AVC schemes the provider also contributed to the AVC alongside the member. An employer would not contribute to an FSAVC policy provided by an insurance company.
- If you worked as a state or local government employee, e.g. civil servant, HMRC, DWP, Teacher, NHS, Fire Service, Police, military etc. Then added years would be an option and the adviser had a duty to explain how this worked compared to an FSAVC. If this was not disclosed, then there is a basis for a complaint.
How can Rightside help you?
Rightside have experts on-hand to check whether the advice that you received was suitable for you and that you were treated fairly. If not, we will submit a claim against the advisor on your behalf. A successful outcome could potentially result in compensation being paid for losses incurred.
If you feel this has affected you, contact us on 01392 574376 or complete the request a callback to discuss how Rightside could assist you. Alternatively, speak to an agent through our live chat.
Top providers we can help with
The Prudential Assurance
Co-operative Insurance Services
Friends Provident Life & Pensions
Sun Life Assurance
Allied Dunbar Assurance
Frequently Asked Questions
I took out an FSAVC pension with an insurance company, a colleague at work said this was a bad idea.
Since 1989 employers must offer their employees an “in house” AVC facility and because it is employer related they cover all of the costs and charges for running it. Some employers offered subsidised schemes such as added years. If you were sold an FSAVC as a means to top up your works pension scheme it is likely that you have been financially disadvantaged. Our specialists can check this for you.
How to get started
Complete a short online form or call us on 01392 574376
Talk to an expert advisor to discuss your potential claim
We will send you an information pack for you to return
We will start processing your claim
All complaints that we deal with can be made without charge directly to the provider. You can also complain directly to the Financial Ombudsman and Financial Services Compensation Scheme for free.