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Pensions administrators & Companies House

A friend tweeted yesterday that he'd just been informed that the pension administrator for his SIPP has gone bust. No financial loss is expected, but it could be a bureaucratic nightmare retrieving his investments, and parking them somewhere else. Will he be able to trade in the meantime? Possibly not.

I looked up the accounts of the company in question at Companies House, using their fantastic (and free!) accounts look up service. There was nothing in the figures to suggest that the company was likely to go bust. Mind you, accounts filed at Cos Hse can be 18 months old, or more, so a lot can change in the meantime. Although the accounts for that particular company were clearly the accounts of a very small company, with only a handful of staff, and little in the way of assets.

This got me thinking, I really should check the accounts of the administrator for my own SIPP. I was horrified to find that it only had net assets of £1! However, on closer inspection, it's a subsidiary of Charles Stanley. I checked the group accounts, and they're absolutely fine.

I'm sure many readers have SIPPs, so I strongly suggest that people look up the accounts of the pensions administrator which does all the back office stuff for you, and make sure they are decently solvent. If not, then it might be worth talking to your broker about moving to a different, more financially strong administrator?

Also, I think it's good to get into the habit of checking out private company accounts at Companies House. We lost some money a few years ago, to a local company that fitted expensive blinds. They went bust & we lost a hefty deposit (having paid by cheque, unfortunately - no protection unlike credit cards). Later, I checked out the company's accounts, and it was obviously insolvent. If only I'd checked the accounts before paying them, then the money would not have lost, as I wouldn't have paid it over.


Redde (LON:REDD)

Share price: 153.3p (up 4% today)
No. shares: 303.9m
Market cap: £465.9m

Pre close statement (trading update) - this is the latest in a long series of positive trading updates from this insurance services outsourcing company;

...trading for the final quarter ending 30 June 2016 has…

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