With Pension Reform come Pension Pot Scams!
One in ten pensioners has been approached by a fraudster looking to gain access to their cash, according to recent research. The study from MetLife found people in South West Britain were most vulnerable to scams with 14% of retirees targeted, compared to just 3% in the East and 5% in Scotland. In a Pension Professionals article, it was reported that the research found people saving for retirement were three times more likely to be approached about accessing their pension pots since the pension freedoms were announced in the 2014 Budget.
The findings coincide with the launch of a new online campaign by The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to crack down on pension scams. This social media drive to raise awareness of pension fraud aims to ensure people understand the value of their pension and how fraudsters will try to get their hands on it.
MetLife UK Managing Director, Dominic Grinstead, said:
“Pension flexibility offers the UK the chance to create a world-leading retirement saving system to ensure people have more comfortable retirements. Unfortunately, it is also providing opportunities for fraudsters who already see retired people as potential targets, as shown by the fact that so many have been subjected to scams.”
Pension Professionals recently looked at the profile of pension fraudsters and reported finding that many have come from a financial services background. This clearly reinforces the need for pensioners and those approaching pensionable age to be very wary of any unsolicited approaches to open up pension pots, which could sound very plausible and persuasive. Pension Reform this year is not intended to cause people to cash in any of their pension pot, merely to give them the choice to do so.
It is best to find advice from reputable and independent advisers who can verify their identity and status as being authorised by the FCA.