Planet Pensions, an advice firm connected to pensions transfers into the Forthplus Sipp, has been declared in default. 

In an announcement posted yesterday (14 February) the Financial Services Compensation Scheme said all current claims against the firm have moved to its processing teams for assessment.

The lifeboat scheme has received 222 claims, with one being upheld, which triggered the FSCS declaring the firm in default, a spokesperson said.

A total 12 of the claims have been unsuccessful, with the remaining 209 in progress.

The FSCS started by accepting claims against Planet Pensions, which was previously trading as Square Mile International Financial, involving advice in connection to pension transfers into and from the Forthplus SIPP and Optimus Retirement Benefit Scheme.

However, the FSCS noted there were also claims relating to other pension schemes, and said it is investigating whether these claims are eligible for compensation.

"FSCS may require customers that fall into this category to first exhaust any right to claim against connected firms still trading who may also be responsible for some, or all, of the customers' losses," the statement on its website said. "FSCS will correspond with affected customers and their representatives on this issue."

A spokesperson confirmed to Professional Adviser that none of the current claims relate to British Steel.

At the moment claims relating to pensions and investments are typically taking between ten and 11 months, according to the FSCS website.

Firm history

Planet Pensions was a European Economic Area authorised firm based in the Czech Republic. It was eligible to offer certain products or services in the UK through passporting rules prior to Brexit.

In the past couple of years the company faced complaints saying advice from the firm was unsuitable. Reports say clients were encouraged to switch their pensions into the Forthplus Sipp, with high charging funds that were later suspended resulting in thousands of pounds worth of losses.

Complaints included pensions transfers to Forthplus Sipp, which is now defunct, and Optimus Retirement Benefit Scheme, a Malta-based qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme. 

Forthplus Pensions was unable to renew its professional indemnity insurance and appointed administrators in October 2021. Its book of business was bought by iPensions in December that year.

In January last year the FSCS encouraged clients of Forthplus Pensions to bring claims against their financial advisers.

Kathleen Gallagher is a freelance journalist