Avoid Pension Rip Offs
Much was made of the new pension freedoms when they came into force in April 2015. The headlines in the papers declared that everyone over 55 was going to cash in their pension and buy a Lamborghini.
A year on, we have seen no significant increase in the sale of Lamborghinis. However, we are starting to see some of the negative consequences of giving pensioners the freedom to decide how they manage their pensions.
In particular, we have seen an increase in the incidence of scams and unauthorised advice from criminals targeting anyone with a pension. In many cases, they have used the new pension freedoms as an excuse to swindle more unsuspecting pension savers out of their life savings.
This has recently been highlighted in the BBC’s Panorama “Pension Rip Offs Exposed”. In this episode the reporter goes undercover to expose how the Government’s latest pension freedoms are being abused by some companies to get their hands on people’s retirement pots. Fiona Phillips meets victims whose retirement plans have been destroyed, hears from experts about how to spot the warning signs and watches one scam unfolding from beginning to end.
Watching this programme made my toes curl. It is these unauthorised and unregulated firms that are bringing my industry into disrepute. It is also why many people have become wary of pensions.
This goes against everything the pension freedoms were meant to offer individuals who were looking to save for their retirement.
The best way to protect yourself is to take advice from a firm that can prove that it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority. In addition, you should look out for quality kite marks for both advisers and the firms they work for. For example, you should look for Chartered Financial Planning firms, who employ advisers who also carry their own personal Chartered Status.
If you would like to find out more about OCM Wealth Management and how we can help you then please contact us on 01604 621467 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Newton CFP, FPFS, MCSI
Chartered Financial Planner
Certified Financial Planner
Fellow of the Personal Finance Society
Chartered Member of the CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments)