Survey results shock reveals pension fraudsters targeting retirement savers

Published:  22 Oct at 6 PM
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The results of a recent survey prove that increasing numbers of pension liberation crooks are operating onshore and offshore, defrauding retirees confused about the new pension rules.

The research, undertaken by financial firm Fidelity, revealed that 66 per cent of retirement savers are still uncertain about their rights under the new legislation. In spite of massive publicity since the April budget announcement, understanding of the ‘over 55’ rule is still causing problems and leaving savers at risk from scammers and massive tax bills.

According to the study, one in every eight of the respondents had received a cold call, email or text from a fraudulent advisor and had discussed pension drawdowns with him. The scammer's’ script invariably included an offer of a ‘free government review’ – a facility which, as yet, does not exist.

All were assured that they could take more than 25 per cent of their savings tax-free, and could access them earlier than age 55 if required. Fortunately, 61 per cent of those who were contacted recognised the scam, although 27 per cent didn’t realise their callers were crooks and 12 per cent believed the advice they were given.

Three per cent of those surveyed thought they could withdraw their money at any age, 10 per cent believed the earliest age was 50 and just 41 per cent believed it was 55. A further 13 per cent thought they needed to be 65 before they could draw down, 18 per cent believed they could do so at state pension age and 15 per cent had absolutely no clue as to when they could access their cash.

Pension liberation scammers are taking full advantage of savers’ confusion, offering to release savings using pension transfers to QROPS and other such products. Fees are charged at up to 33 per cent of the total pension pot, plus a hefty 55 per cent tax penalty should the holder be under 55, although this is never mentioned by the fraudsters.
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