News today has broken that details of millions of people’s pensions are being sold to fraudsters and cold calling firms. Its news today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32110859), but it’s not really news at all. For years now we have been hearing terrible stories of pension liberation firms who promise to allow people under aged 55 to release funds from their pensions. Of other schemes allowing people to invest in their pensions in their own homes. Or transferring funds to another country which would allow you to remove all the money. In fact pensions have been treated as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or perhaps more appropriately as the magic porridge pot which simply keeps producing endlessly.
I’m afraid to say it but it is gullible people who are falling for these scams. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.The fact is that millions and billions of pounds are held in pension funds and the fraudsters and scam artists know it. For them it is indeed a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because if they can access your pension funds then you lose and they don’t.Pensions are complex and complicated because of the tax relief they enjoy and the bureaucracy surrounding them. With recent freedoms come the freedoms to make mistakes. Somebody who telephones you offering some wonderful pensions offer is almost certain to be working in their best interests and not yours. If for whatever reason and from whatever source you think a course of action regarding your pension may be a good idea, put the phone down, research a qualified local independent adviser, and put your idea to them.
The only way to be sure that what you are doing is in your best interests is to seek advice from somebody who will also lose if you lose. Local independent whole of life guidance will cost you nothing as initial consultations are usually free of charge and you will receive an opinion from somebody who will be in big trouble if they make a mistake. Independent financial advisers rely upon the authorisation of the Financial Conduct Authority to be able to function. Without this authorisation they are unemployed. If they make a mistake they will be de-authorised, possibly sued and possibly even jailed. This is the kind of highly qualified, highly motivated-to-get-it-right person you want advising you on this massive life choice. Not someone phoning you up or mailing or emailing trying to sell you something. No good will come from that.
31 March 2015
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