Pensions & Sipps

A large majority of people in the UK will throughout their working lives wisely save a proportion of their money tax efficiently in a pension for their retirement. Don’t let someone take this away from you. In this article we explore pensions in a bit more detail as well as how fraudsters are targeting people to access these funds! We also provide links to free guides, free resources provided by the government and regulated companies to help you stay safe! If the worst has happen and you feel you are already a victim don’t panic there are people who can help! Lets get started. 

However much you may want to access your pension pot you can’t until you reach retirement age unless you have a serious medical issue or are happy to pay significant costs. A positive change in 2015 means you can access 25% of your pension pot at the age of 55 tax free but that is it! 

Any person or company that tells you it is possible is more than likely trying to defraud you! You may receive a call, a text, see an advert online promising low risk and high returns but do not be fooled. If an offer looks too good to be true it probably is.  

 If a company offers you pension liberation, pension unlocking services, a free pension review, pension transfer investment opportunities it is almost certainly a scam. The first thing you should do is take the details of the company, the phone number and the name of the person. At this stage you should do some research before communicating any further. 

  • How did they get your contact details? 
  • Is the company a UK based company with valid contact details and address? 
  • Are they regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)? Check the register
  • Can you call the company back and get through to the person you spoke to? 
  • Have a look at the FCA Scam warning list and their free Scam Smart resources. 
  • Talk to the citizens advice bureau Citizens advice Bureau 

Usually these few basic questions will unravel a fraudster and you may want to consider reporting the details to the ICOAction FraudReport a scam

Remember knowledge is power and there is lots of great government websites to help you better understand your pension like Pension Wise where you can book a free face to face meeting or phone consultation here

If you have been the victim of fraud remember this was not your fault. Sadly this happens to thousands and thousands of people as fraudsters are getting more advanced. Support is there to help you emotionally via companies like Action Fraud and you may be able to recover funds via the Financial services compensation scheme FSCS. You may need to consider legal action to recover your funds and secure compensation. 

It is not always doom and gloom of course! If you are looking for financing options there are lots of ways to achieve this without looking to your pension. These options can often be far better value, not have significant tax implications and avoid the risks outlined above. You may want to consider the below but of course the right option is dependent on your specific requirement and situation; 

  • Talk to your bank about your situation either face to face or on the phone about a loan. 
  • Compare what other loans they offer with other providers 
  • Research companies than can offer you short term unsecured loans or more long term secured loans 
  • Research credit card companies that can help you. 
  • Talk to legal firms that can help you get compensated for mis sold pensions. 

Whatever route you choose to go down remember to spend time ensuring it is the best fit for your requirements. Be certain you are aware of all the costs and that you can afford the repayments. Compare all the products on the market to make sure you get the best value.

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