The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into storage unit investment schemes, and revealed that more than £120m has been poured into them.
The SFO says it is probing several firms, including Capita Oak Pension and Henley Retirement Benefit, plus some schemes that included investments in other products. It adds that more than 1,000 individual investors are thought to be affected by the alleged fraud, though it thinks the number could be much higher.
“Pension liberation” scams – where people are persuaded to transfer or cash in their pension pots and put the money into pension investments – have been around for years, but there has been a surge in activity since April 2015 when the government introduced reforms giving over-55s more freedom in terms of what they can do with their retirement cash.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be collecting data from all financial advice firms which hold pension transfer permissions during this year.
In October, the FCA revealed that advice in more than half of the defined benefit pension (DB) transfers where the recommendation was to move the retirement pot was unsuitable or unclear.
From a total of 88 DB transfers analysed by the watchdog since October 2015, only 47 per cent were suitable. The regulator found that 17 per cent were unsuitable and in the remaining 36 per cent suitability was unclear.
The ability to transfer your pension into something that on the face of it looks like it will generate extra income for your retirement is an attractive proposition for many people but should be considered only after realising that there is a possibility of losing money!
If what you are being offered looks to be too good to be true it probably is!
If you think that you have been given poor pension advice and as a result your pension is not performing as expected contact us today on 01942 619911 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.