Find out how some companies might be trying to make a pretty-penny by transferring YOUR pension into somewhere a lot less ‘suitable’…
The FCA, who are in charge of all financial services companies in the UK, has revealed the details of a NEW type of pension ‘scam’, aiming to shove people’s hard-earned money into High-Risk investments, under new layers of disguise.
If these investments fail, the pension may be lost.
These “Third-generation scams” are more sophisticated that what the FCA called “First” and “Second-generation scams”, where people’s pensions were often invested through SIPPs into HIGH-RISK, UNREGULATED investments such as Overseas Hotels and Resorts, Storage Pods, Carbon Credits and Forestry Schemes and more…
Instead, the FCA said that “Scams are evolving”, and “the reason for this evolutionary process appears to be to obscure the nature of the ultimate underlying investment.”
How Self-Invested Personal Pensions Work (SIPPs)
A SIPP is a type of pension; a tax-efficient vehicle for investment that allows you to choose your own pension investments from a wide choice. How much you get in retirement depends on how well those pension investments do once they mature.
But problems can happen when people are advised to go into unregulated or non-standard investments, which are often illiquid (difficult to sell when you need the money), and for which they are not suitable, either because they are not wealthy enough to be exposed to that kind of risk (usually those that earn £100k+ per year may be eligible), or do not have enough investment knowledge and experience to safely manage these investments (Sophisticated Investors).
But the UK is slowly becoming more aware of the dangers of non-standard investments, so the “scams evolve to become increasingly sophisticated”.
Now, instead of being advised or offered an opportunity to directly invest in “unregulated physical assets – such as commercial property” like before, “Third-generation scams now use the services of a discretionary fund manager (DFM) to create an investment portfolio that does not require the direct input of the investor; this portfolio then invests in SPV bonds”.
Sounds complicated, we know – that’s how the FCA is suggesting that the “Scams” work, by making the underlying investments “obscured” and difficult to identify for the average pension saver.
Essentially, it’s the same high-risk investment, turned into a bond and then wrapped up in a portfolio by a DFM.
So is my pension at risk?
What to watch out for…
Various types of what the FCA has identified as “scams” have been running for years. Often, they start with an unexpected phone-call, perhaps offering to “review” your pension for free, sometimes using high-pressure sales tactics and telling you your current pension arrangements are no good.
To most people, this makes perfect sense (and when done right, it can be a good thing!), but what sometimes happens next is the client is not assessed properly for their suitability for such high-risk investments, and before they know it, they have a brand new SIPP pension, filled with high-risk investments they don’t understand properly.
From what the FCA is saying, in newer cases these investments are wrapped up in portfolios by DFMs.
Now you know what to look for – don’t forget to share this on Facebook to let your friends know to be on the look out too!
What to do if you think you may be a victim
We believe one of the best ways to combat pension scams is with a little education, so please feel free to SHARE THIS ARTICLE with friends and family to make sure everybody knows what the scammers are up to.
But if you feel like you might have already gotten involved in one of these sophisticated mis-selling cases, then you might be able to get help from the team at Get Claims Advice Ltd.
Get Claims Advice Ltd are experienced industry professionals, specialists in pension mis-selling, and as of January 2017 have helped recover over £60Million** from mis-sold SIPP investments on behalf of our clients.
We always offer our initial assessment services completely FREE of charge with no obligation, should you want to have your advice looked over, either for peace of mind or because you think you may have been placed in a risky position.
If it looks like you have, our claims services are ONLY available on a no upfront cost basis, meaning that we don’t get paid unless you do, leaving you nothing to lose by pursuing your case for negligent financial advice.
So… stay safe, share some knowledge, and don’t let the scammers win!
Please note: you have an initial cooling off period of 14 days, if you cancel outside of this period you may be charged for the work carried out and if we have already submitted your claim, which results in an offer of compensation subsequently being made, we will charge our full fee as per our T&Cs – our fee is 20% + VAT – a total of 24%.