Personal Pension Plan Decision Reference 2021-0307

Case OutcomeSubstantially upheld
Subject MatterPersonal Pension Plan
Date08 September 2021
Conducts Complained OfFailure to provide accurate investment information,Dissatisfaction with customer service , Failure to provide product/service information
Finantial SectorInvestment
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Personal Pension Plan
Conduct(s) complained of:
Failure to provide accurate investment information
Dissatisfaction with customer service
Failure to provide product/service information
Substantially upheld
The complaint concerns the Complainant’s Pension Investment Plan with the Provider.
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant submits that in September 2017, with the assistance of his financial
advisor, he transferred the sum of €242,079.11 from his personal pension plan to an
investment fund administered by the Provider and that 100% of the funds were invested in
a category 5 ‘High Risk Fund’. The Complainant submits that the Provider’s investment
funds were risk rated between 1 and 8, with 1 being the lowest risk category and category
8 being of the highest risk investment fund.
The Complainant submits that during early July 2019, the value of the fund was at “a near
all time high” and he made the decision to reduce the risk of his investment fund. The
Complainant states that his financial advisor was unable to assist him, and he chose to
initially reduce the risk profile of his investment fund to either a category 1 or a category 2
risk rating fund, until such time as he was able to secure professional advice. The
Complainant submits that throughout the switching process, a number of issues arose with
the Provider.
The Complainant submits that while considering his options to switch the funds, he went
onto the Provider’s website, where it was stated that 62 funds were available and the
Complainant submits that only 61 funds were actually listed on the website.
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The Complainant states that the Provider supplied a summary schedule upon clicking on
each relevant fund, which he submits set out the details of the funds’ performance and
risk ratings and it also supplied a fact sheet which supplied further details of the relevant
The Complainant submits that within the Provider’s website only two of the low risk funds
were rated as risk level 1 and that these were cash funds, and that the remaining low risk
rated funds were risk 2 level.
The Complainant says that at that time he concentrated on the low risk cash fund with the
intention to opt for a possible level 2 or level 3 risk fund upon the advice of a financial
advisor. The Complainant submits that upon reviewing the low risk cash fund, he was
unable to review the fact sheet of that fund due to an error message on the Provider’s
website which stated “Page not found”.
The Complainant states that upon reviewing the fact sheet of another low risk cash fund,
he noted that it was classified as a level 2 risk category and the summary schedule of that
cash fund showed it to be a level 1 risk category. The Complainant submits that on 04 July
2019, he telephoned the Provider to seek clarification of the two cash fund options and
the risk levels associated with them. The Complainant submits that during this telephone
conversation he noted that three of the remaining funds which had been listed on the
Provider’s website as being “low Risk” had a higher risk set out in the relevant fact sheets,
than which had been indicated on the relevant summary of schedule for those investment
funds. The Complainant submits that on the Provider’s website, investment funds rated as
‘Medium Risk’ funds were included in the ‘Low Risk’ category.
The Complainant submits that it is his understanding that the correct level of risk of the
investment funds is set out in the fact sheet rather than the summary of schedule of each
investment fund. The Complainant says that when he informed the Provider’s
representative of the risk level discrepancies, between the summary schedules and fact
sheets, the Provider’s representative “expressed surprise” and he was unable to provide an
explanation for the discrepancies. The Complainant states that the level of risk
discrepancies on the Provider’s website are not immediately obvious and are highly
confusing and that they have the potential to mislead clients when accessing the
information on-line.
The Complainant says that during the telephone call on 04 July 2019, he was informed by
the Provider that the transfer fund value of the investment fund, would be the fund value
as at 02 July 2019, and that during this call he instructed the Provider’s representative to
switch his funds into the level 1 low risk cash fund and he submits that this investment
fund had no fact sheet available on the Provider’s website.
The Complainant submits that the Provider issued the investment fund switch effective
from 04 July 2019 as requested, though it did not use the fund value as at 02 July 2019 as
previously advised by the Provider.

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