Hartley Pensions Limited – in Administration

Please find a list of frequently asked questions below.
24 January 2024: Update to SIPP clients

Please click here to see the order issued following the hearing on 22 January 2024. You will note the hearing has been adjourned to the week commencing 5 February 2024. An update will be issued once the date has been confirmed. 

18 January 2024: Update to SIPP clients

Please click here for an update on the progress of the administration as well as communication from Spencer West LLP on behalf of the alternative representative respondents. 

21 December 2023: SIPP client update

Please click here for a further update on the progress of the administration.

Update 22 November 2023: FS Legal:

We refer to our recent update advising that FS Legal has been instructed by the proposed representative respondents (“RR’s”) regarding the court application to consider the exit and administration charge. 
 
We understand that from certain correspondence from clients there may be some confusion in this regard. The joint administrators have approached clients to become RR’s and six clients have agreed to take on this role. An application to court is required to formally appointed the RR’s and they therefore require legal representation. FS Legal have confirmed that they are willing to act on the RR’s behalf but for both the RR’s formal appointment and the application to consider the charge.  
 
FS Legal have asked us to advise clients that there is a letter on their portal for clients to consider. In order to access the letter, you will need to register on the portal at www.hartleypensionsgroup.ning.com. Whilst we have had sight of the letter, we have not had any input in its contents and clients should note that there is no obligation to provide the requested funding. All queries regarding this funding should be directed to FS Legal at hartley@fsl.legal as we are unable to comment on it. 

We also understand that FS Legal have added on their portal that there was a possibility of Hartley being placed into liquidation. Please be advised that the joint administrators have secured funding to continue trading whilst the application to court is made. Liquidation was only a possibility as the RR’s believed liquidation may have resulted in a return to clients from FSCS compensation, however the FSCS have advised that compensation on the proposed exit and administration charge is not currently available.  
 

11 October 2023: Update to SIPP clients

Important update regarding Hartley Pensions Limited – In Administration and your self-invested personal pension scheme (''SIPP'')

We write to provide you with an update on the administration of Hartley Pensions Limited - in administration (''Hartley'') and, in particular, to inform you of the progress of the Court application and informal committee (the ''Committee'') that we referred to in our last update of 31 July 2023. 

Representative respondents

On 15 June 2023, we released communications to all clients explaining the role of the representative respondents (''RR'') and requested that any client who wished to become a RR should contact us. 

Following this communication, a number of clients came forward and the Joint Administrators (''JA’s'') have now agreed to appoint six RRs. The JAs consider these clients to be appropriate for the role of RR as they represent a wide variety of the SIPP schemes, asset holdings and value of assets held. 

The RR's have expressed a willingness to be formally appointed by the Court as soon as possible; we will update all clients with the RRs details in due course when this has been done but please note that the RR's can only be formally appointed once the Court application has been issued to ratify the Exit and Administration charge. 

Court application 

As you may be aware from our last update we advised you that we have recommenced work on the court application and expect to issue this in November 2023.

We continue to engage with the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) and RRs on this work.

Cost models

On 31 July 2023 we advised you that we had a meeting with the Committee to discuss the cost models which form the basis of the Exit and Administration Charge. As a reminder for clients, the Exit and Administration charge is a one off charge to cover the extra costs needed to administer an orderly transfer of your SIPP to a new operator given the failure of Hartley. Once this charge has been approved by the court, it will replace the contractual management fee. 

Since this meeting the JA's have also had a meeting to discuss the cost models with the RRs. Following these meetings, based upon the comments raised by the RRs and the Committee, the JA’s are now only considering the fixed fee per client model and the hybrid charge based on asset type model. A recap of these models is as follows:

  1. The hybrid charge model is based upon the asset type within the client SIPP. Each client will be subject to a fixed fee charge depending on the type and number of assets they hold within their SIPP.
  2. The fixed fee per client model is a flat charge for all clients, regardless of the type of assets that they hold within their SIPP. 

A further meeting is arranged with the RRs for 12 October 2023 where it is anticipated that a final cost model will be agreed between the RR’s and the JA’s. You will be updated once a final cost model has been agreed but you are able to find further information relating to this on the portal.

Client portal set up for SIPP holders

The six proposed RR’s (who are SIPP Holders) have nominated FS Legal Solicitors LLP (“FSL”) to advise them in relation to the proposed costing models court application.  FSL sat on the GPC SIPP Limited and the Harlequin Property creditor committees.  The firm specialises in financial services law and practice and is well versed in the issues that this matter raises. 

In order to be able to canvass opinion and to explain the process, FSL have set up a secure client portal for the approx. 17,000 SIPP holders.  It is vital that SIPP holders review the information contained within this secure portal and provide feedback.  

Access 

The secure portal can be access by going to www.hartleypensionsgroup.ning.com. When you get to the site sign up for a new account.  There is a “Click here to join” button, which will allow you to join.  You will be asked some basic question to allow you to be verified.  If you have any queries, please email hartley@fsl.legal.  The portal will go live in the week commencing the 16 October 2023.  It will include information about the proposed charges and how this could affect you.  Please take time to join the client portal.  It is there to assist SIPP account holders and to canvass view to better inform the RR’s, who will shortly need to formally respond to the application being made by the JA’s for the Exit and Administration charge.

Update on nominated operators 

All potential nominated operators have provided us with their offers and we are currently in the process of reviewing all proposals. All clients will be updated when one or more nominated operator(s) have been chosen.

If you have any questions in the interim, a list of responses to FAQs along with our previous communications can be found online at https://www.uhy-uk.com/hartley-pensions-limited-administration.

IMPORTANT - avoiding scams 

It should be noted that correspondence in relation to client schemes will only be issued by Hartley Pensions Limited or UHY Hacker Young LLP. Clients are reminded to remain alert and should correspondence be received by a third party, they should notify the Hartley Pensions team by any of the following methods:

Phone: 0800 063 9113 (Freephone for UK callers)
            +4420 3282 8151 (international callers)
Bristol office: +44 117 316 9991
Email: hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com or admin@hartleypensions.com

For more on how to protect yourself from the most common types of scams, ScamSmart pages on the FCA website provide advice on how to avoid investment and pension scams. 
 

Update 25 August 2023: Joint Administrators’ six month progress report
Important notice to clients regarding Hartley Action Group Website

The joint administrators are aware that a client of Hartley Pensions Limited (“Hartley”) has set up an action group website. We want to emphasise that this website contains several inaccuracies concerning both the administration of Hartley and its parent company, Wilton UK (Group) Limited. 

One significant inaccuracy is the claim that Mr Flanagan has leverage of UHY Hacker Young and therefore has control over the Hartley administration. This claim is entirely untrue. Mr Flanagan holds no authority over UHY Hacker Young, the joint administrators or Hartley itself. Upon the administration of Hartley, Mr Flanagan's directorial powers ceased and he no longer maintains any managerial position within the company. 

The website is soliciting funding via a GoFund website, though it fails to specify how the funds will be used. The joint administrators advise exercising caution if considering making a donation. 

Please be assured that the joint administrators are diligently addressing the situation and working to ensure that accurate information is accessible to all clients. 
 

Proof of debt form

Please click here to access the proof of debt form. Completed forms should be sent to Dhruv Maru at d.maru@uhy-uk.com, together with any supporting documentation, to formally submit a claim in the administration of Hartley Pensions Limited. 

21 August 2023: Update to SSAS clients
31 July 2023: Update to SIPP clients
15 June 2023: Update to SIPP clients
Update: Joint Administrators’ six month progress report

Please click here to access the Joint Administrators’ six month progress report. Please note that clients are being provided access for information purposes only. 

Avoiding scams

The Joint Administrators are aware that a number of clients have been receiving communications from the following email addresses: ''admin@hartleypensionsuk.com'' and “info@hartley-pensions.com” as well as receiving calls from 020 7971 1496, 0117 251 0439 and 0117 251 0319. These messages and calls appear to represent that they are on behalf of Hartley, and the Joint Administrators are aware they have been requesting client’s bank details to process a refund. 

The Joint Administrators are also aware of communications being sent to clients by the following:

  • Central Reservations UK, using the email "accounts@centralreservations-uk.com", advising clients to contact Hartley’s offices on 020 7088 8341 please note this is not a Hartley phone number;
  • Chartered Trading Standards Institute advising clients to contact them on 08000 541 432; and
  • Debt Collectors UK Limited requesting payment by client.

Please be aware that any correspondence received from these email addresses or phone numbers are NOT authorised by Hartley or the Joint Administrators and may be a scam. If clients receive communications from these email addresses or phone numbers, the Joint Administrators advise clients to disregard these and report it. Please do NOT provide any personal information, bank details or arrange payments to them.  

The Joint Administrators are also aware that some clients have received communications from Bowerstone Capital Limited claiming to have been instructed by The Insolvency Service to assist clients with recovering their assets. Whilst the correspondence from Bowerstone Capital Limited does not appear to mention Hartley Pensions Limited, the Joint Administrators have notified The Insolvency Service and they have confirmed they have not instructed Bowerstone Capital Limited. The Insolvency Service has referred us to the following link, which provides further information which they have published: Investors warned about approaches to recover lost funds - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

It should be noted that correspondence in relation to client schemes will only be issued by Hartley Pensions Limited. Clients are reminded to remain alert and should correspondence be received by a third party, they should notify the Hartley Pensions team by any of the following methods:

Phone: 0800 063 9113 (Freephone for UK callers)
            +4420 3282 8151 (international callers)
Bristol office: +44 117 316 9991
Email: hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com or admin@hartleypensions.com
 

12 January 2023: Update to SIPP clients and FAQ’s
16 December 2022: Update for SSAS clients
Update for SIPP clients

Important update regarding Hartley Pensions Limited – In Administration - and your self-invested personal pension scheme (''SIPP'')

We write to provide you with an update on the current administration of Hartley Pensions Limited- in administration (''Hartley'') and in particular to inform you of the progress made in respect of the key tasks being conducted by Peter Kubik and Brian Johnson of UHY Hacker Young LLP (the "Joint Administrators") since their appointment as Joint Administrators of Hartley on 29 July 2022. 

Background Information 

As you may be aware Hartley entered into administration on 29 July 2022. This decision was made as a result of serious operational and regulatory issues. Due to this the Financial Conduct Authority (''FCA'') imposed a number of requirements on Hartley and upon seeking professional advice the director concluded that Hartley was or was likely to become cash flow insolvent in the future. As a result of this the director appointed the Joint Administrators to manage the affairs of Hartley. 

Updates on the Administration of Hartley 

The Joint Administrators are aware of the recent communications circulated by Mr Flanagan on 23 November 2022, as a director of Hartley Pensions Trustees Limited and Hartley SAS Limited. The Joint Administrators would like to make it clear that these communications were sent without the agreement of either the FCA or the Joint Administrators and are inaccurate and misleading.  

All information in regards to the administration of the SIPPs and all client concerns have been addressed in our FAQ page set up by the Joint Administrators. A further updated copy of FAQs is attached to this letter and a further link to the FAQ page is included below for ease of reference: https://www.uhy-uk.com/hartley-pensions-limited-administration

If after visiting the above webpage, you have any outstanding queries not covered by the FAQs you can contact the Joint Administrators on 0800 063 9113 or at hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com. Please ensure any email sent to this email address includes your SIPP/SSAS reference and we will respond to you as soon as possible. Please ensure that all queries are directed to either the customer service number or email address above rather than the individual contact details listed in Mr Flanagan's communications on the 23 November 2022.

Please click here to access SIPP client FAQs

Update for SSAS clients

Please click here to access an update to SSAS clients.  

Regarding the Hartley Pensions Trustees Limited Director’s Letter

We are aware that clients have been sent a letter from the director of Hartley Pensions Trustees Limited regarding your pension scheme. This letter has not been approved by the Administrators and is factually incomplete and inaccurate.

Communications will be sent to all clients from the Administrators shortly. Despite extensive efforts, the Administrators have not been able to secure a sale of the Hartley Pensions Limited SIPP business. As such, the Administrators are in the process of structuring a Court approved plan to transfer out clients’ SIPPs on an individual or bulk basis. The communications will explain the timescales involved but it is not expected that this process will conclude prior to the first quarter of 2023. With regards to the SSAS book, a sale is likely to be agreed shortly and it is expected that a sale of the SSAS business will complete by the first quarter of 2023 with SSAS clients transferred to a new operator.  

We remain committed to administering your pension scheme and appreciate that clients will be concerned from the communications circulated by Mr Flanagan. However, please note that these communications have been issued without any input from the Administrators and therefore are incomplete, inaccurate and should not be relied upon. 

Clients are not required to do anything at this stage but we will notify all clients once the more detailed communications are issued.
 

Update: 7 November 2022 transferring my pension to another provider

On 12 September 2022 the FCA lifted the restriction preventing clients from transferring their schemes to an alternative provider. 

Whilst the Joint Administrators acknowledge the lifting of this restriction, they are however unable to comply with any requests to transfer until such time as a full reconciliation of each client’s holdings has taken place. This reconciliation is underway and it is hoped that it will be completed by January 2023.

This does not affect the ability of clients to carry out normal transactions although there is still a restriction in place preventing voluntary contributions being made.

If you have any further queries, please email hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com

We anticipate that there will be a further update posted on the website on the progress in the administration in December 2022.

Update: joint administrators’ proposals

Please click here to access the joint administrators’ proposals. Please note that clients are being provided access for information purposes only and are not therefore able to vote on the proposed decisions. 

Who are Hartley Pensions Limited ("Hartley" or the “Company”)?

Hartley is the manager and operator of your Self-Invested Personal Pension ("SIPP") and/or Small Self-Administered Scheme ("SSAS"). Hartley is a separate legal entity to the corporate trustees which hold the money and assets within your SIPP/SASS on trust.

What has happened to Hartley?

As a result of serious operational and regulatory issues, the Financial Conduct Authority ('FCA') imposed a number of requirements over Hartley.  As a result, Hartley’s director sought professional advice and concluded that Hartley will or is likely to become cash flow insolvent in the future.  Subsequently, the director has appointed Peter Kubik and Brian Johnson of UHY Hacker Young LLP as joint administrators (the “Administrators”) of Hartley on 29 July 2022. 


Hartley remains subject to a number of FCA requirements agreed with by, or imposed upon, it.  The requirements were agreed or imposed in an attempt for Hartley to correct a number of operational, financial and regulatory issues within the business and to protect Hartley's clients.  


PLEASE REVERT BACK TO THIS PAGE FOR FURTHER UPDATES.

Committee

The Joint Administrators had previously advised that an informal client committee had been formed in order to consider the various models available to fund the ongoing costs of the administration, to determine the fairest option for all members. Sharesoc, a not for profit organisation run by individual investors, is part of the committee. Any clients who wish to contact the committee can do so via Sharesoc’s website at https://www.sharesoc.org/contact-us/

What is administration?

Administration is an insolvency process by which Hartley has been placed under the control of insolvency practitioners, who will manage the affairs of Hartley, instead of the director. 

The Administrators have a statutory objective of achieving a better outcome for creditors than in a winding up of the firm (without first entering administration) and intend to continue to operate Hartley while a transfer of its SIPP book is arranged in order to meet this objective.

Who are the administrators and what happens next?

Peter Kubik and Brian Johnson, both of UHY Hacker Young LLP, were appointed as Administrators by the director of Hartley.  

The Administrators are both qualified insolvency practitioners, regulated by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

Are you in contact with the relevant regulatory bodies?

Yes, Hartley remains authorised and regulated by the FCA (in relation to SIPPs) and the Pensions Regulator (“TPR”) (in relation to SSASs). The Administrators are in contact with the FCA, which consented to the appointment of the Administrators, and are having initial discussions with TPR. They will also speak to other relevant agencies such as HM Revenue and Customs, the Financial Ombudsman Service ('FOS'), and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme ('FSCS'). You will be provided with all relevant information in due course. 

What does this mean for my Self Invested Pension Plan ("SIPP") and Small Self-Administered Scheme ("SSAS")?

Hartley is the manager and operator of your SIPP/SSAS. The money and assets held in the SIPP/SSAS are held on trust by a corporate trustee which is a separate legal entity to Hartley. 

The Administrators are now engaged in an accelerated sale process to secure an alternative manager and operator of your SIPP/SSAS. It is the intention of the Administrators to trade Hartley whilst in administration, subject to funding, to allow the Administrators time to arrange an orderly hand over of the management of the SIPP/SSAS to an alternative provider. 
 

Is my pension safe?

Existing pension assets are held by trustee firms, which are not regulated by the FCA, and have not entered into administration. If this changes the Administrators will contact any clients affected.

How long will a transfer to a new provider take?

The Administrators are seeking to agree an orderly handover of the management of the SIPP/SSAS to an alternative provider as soon as possible. Please see the report at the top of the page for more information.

PLEASE REVERT BACK TO THIS PAGE FOR FURTHER UPDATES.

Can I transfer my pension to another provider now?

On 12 September 2022 the FCA lifted the restriction preventing clients from transferring their schemes to an alternative provider. 

Whilst the Joint Administrators acknowledge the lifting of this restriction, they are however unable to comply with any requests to transfer until such time as a full reconciliation of each client’s holdings has taken place. This reconciliation is underway and it is hoped that it will be completed by January 2023.

This does not affect the ability of clients to carry out normal transactions although there is still a restriction in place preventing voluntary contributions being made.

If you have any further queries, please email hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com

We anticipate that there will be a further update posted on the website on the progress in the administration in December 2022.

Am I able to access my pension and make withdrawals?

The restrictions do not prevent you from accessing your pension in the normal course. For example, you are able to drawdown money in the usual manner, trade investments and request your pension commencement lump sum. The only restrictions are that no further contributions can be made to your SIPP and no transfers out can be made currently.

Can I still make contributions to my pension?

Members are not currently able to make any new contributions to their pensions. This is intended to ensure that no new member assets are received in a period in which customers cannot transfer out and/or Hartley is subject to the administration process.  

Do I have to be transferred to a new provider?

Yes. It is intended that you will be transferred to a new provider, following which you may move to a provider of your choice. Any transfer to a new provider will require FCA approval. 

Do I need to do anything?

No action needs to be taken at this stage whilst the Administrators identify an alternative service provider. Please bear with us. We will provide you with regular updates to let you know what is happening.

What if I owe Hartley money?

If you owe Hartley money you will likely be asked to pay that money.  You will be contacted with details of where the money should be paid.

How do I complain to Hartley ?

The Administrators are doing everything they can to facilitate a smooth transfer to a third party provider. They ask that you bear with them whilst they do this but if you want to make a complaint, you can submit this to the following address:


E: Complaints@hartleypensions.com
T: 0800 063 9113 (Freephone for UK callers)
    +4420 3282 8151 (international callers)

Can I make a claim to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS") relating to the failure (or insolvency) of Hartley?

The FSCS is the compensation scheme for customers of UK authorised financial services firms and protects consumers when those firms are not able to meet protected claims against them. 


The FSCS will not be opening its online claims service against Hartley yet. Following Hartley's insolvency, the FSCS will investigate whether there are any claims protected under its rules that would allow the FSCS to declare a default and pay compensation.


If Hartley is not able to meet claims against it, and the FSCS identify any claims eligible under their rules, customers will be entitled to apply for compensation up to the limit of £85,000. The FSCS will work closely with the Administrators and investigate whether there are any claims that meet the qualifying conditions for compensation.


You can obtain further information about the FSCS on its website:
https://www.fscs.org.uk/making-a-claim/failed-firms/hartley-pensions/

Do I need to use a third party to make a claim?

Claims management companies may approach customers of Hartley, offering to help them bring claims against it. Be cautious if you are approached by one of these companies.  For the vast majority of Hartley customers there is no benefit in involving a third party in making a claim.  

The FSCS is free to use. However, it is not yet open to claims, pending its investigations into whether there may be any protected claims against Hartley that would allow them to pay compensation under their rules. The FSCS will publish updates on its website:

https://www.fscs.org.uk/making-a-claim/failed-firms/hartley-pensions/
 

Can I complain to the FOS?

As a result of the appointment of the Administrators, Hartley is protected by a statutory moratorium which prevents any legal processes being initiated against Hartley. Consequently, you cannot make a complaint to the FOS. However, if you want to make a complaint in the meantime, please submit this to the following address:


    FAO: The Administrators
    Hartley Pensions Limited (in administration)
    c/o UHY Hacker Young LLP
    Quadrant House
    4 Thomas More Square
    London
    E1W 1YW

The Administrators will work with the FSCS to determine whether Hartley is able to meet eligible claims against it. The FSCS will not be opening its online claims services against Hartley yet.
 

I have an ongoing complaint with the FOS, what do I have to do?

If you already have a claim with the FOS, you don’t need to take any action at the moment. The FOS will be working closely with the FCA and the Administrators to agree an appropriate course of action. The FOS will contact you in due course regarding the next steps. 

What has happened to Hartley’s staff?

Hartley's staff remain employed and the Administrators will continue to liaise with the staff throughout this process.

How do I contact Hartley?

You can contact Hartley in the usual way as follows:

Post: Hartley Pensions Limited, 5th Floor, 25 Marsh Street, Bristol, BS1 4AQ

Phone: +44 (0)117 316 9991

Email: admin@hartleypensions.com 

Where will updates and correspondence be made available?

Updates will be posted on the UHY website at:
https://www.uhy-uk.com/hartley-pensions-limited-administration

How do I advise the Administrators of any matters?

If you wish to advise the Administrators on any matters, please email them at hartleypensions@uhy-uk.com

You can also write to them:

FAO The Administrators
Hartley Pensions Limited (in administration) 
c/o UHY Hacker Young LLP
Quadrant House
4 Thomas More Square
London
E1W 1YW
 

What should I do if I am contacted by someone claiming to be from Hartley / UHY / a related company and you are unsure?

Please end the call and contact the Administrators on 0800 063 9113.  Please remain alert to the possibility of fraud.

GDPR Fair Processing Notice 

As part of our role as Administrators, we may need to access and use data relating to individuals. In doing so, we must abide by data protection requirements. 

Information about the way that we will use and store personal data in relation to insolvency appointments can be found at https://www.uhy-uk.com/privacy-policy

It is important that you read this Fair Processing Notice so that you are truly aware of how and why we are using your data. This Fair Processing Notice supplements any other notices Hartley may have served on you and is not intended to override them. 
 

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