Are you scammable or scamproof?
According to the Association of British Insurers, (ABI), some £1.8Billion has been released in the last few months following the pension changes known as Pension Freedom. (http://www.expressandstar.com/business/uk-money/2015/07/14/1-8bn-withdrawn-amid-new-pension-cash-freedoms/).
The Pensions Regulator, (TPR), is very worried about the opportunity presented to fraudsters by Pension Freedoms as it has potentially created a new cohort of potential fraud victims with relatively large sums of money burning holes in their pockets. This same cohort has low awareness of financial services regulations and no experience of paying for financial advice, so is easily attracted to “no cash up front” or “special offers”, as they do not have a reliable frame of reference.
The TPR has provided a number of new resources for financial advisers and members of the public, including a new website, www.pension-scams.com, a printable factsheet, http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/scamproof-infographic.pdf, and a brief video, https://youtu.be/36tyvr51nek.
In summary, the messages are not new and radically different, but need to be heeded in any event.
If someone is offering pension access before 55 years old, it is probably a scam.
If you are being offered a free pension review, then it is likely to have some hidden drawbacks. Financial advisers are fee based, so either they are not competent and regulated or you are going to be paying over the odds for something.
Unsolicited calls are automatically suspect. For proper IFAs they are forbidden, if it is a marketing company, they are probably selling your details to multiple businesses.
There is no such thing as guaranteed high returns, so if you are being offered them, there is something wrong. They are either not high, not guaranteed or not returns, (as they have nicked your money!).
High returns from overseas investments are also unlikely – if your money leaves the UK, then most of your investor protection has also gone.
This is one of those occasions, where if you have an IFA it would be a good idea to use them. If you do not have one, please talk to us as we can save you considerable time and trouble.
Contact me with queries
If anyone is looking for general advice, then please write in to the blog and I would be happy to help with anonymous advice posted here. Alternatively, please call us on 0116 253 5600 and ask to speak to an IFA, (Independent Financial Adviser), for a no-obligation discussion.
If you know you need formal advice, have a look at http://bankfield.net/personal/retirement-planning/, or ask around for a recommendation, it might even be me.