Warning that new pension freedom will attract scammers

A campaign is being launched today aimed at arming pensioners against being tricked out of their life savings on the back of new pension legislation coming into force in April.

From April 6 new rules governing private pensions will allow anyone over the age of 55 a great deal more freedom on how they can access their pension savings pot.

Until then everyone had to buy a retirement annuity with the pension savings – under the new rules, however, they will be allowed to take cash out of their pension pot either as a single lump sum or through a series of pay-outs.

There are growing fears, however, that scammers will seek to take advantage of any confusion over the new legislation, pressurising victims into transferring pension funds into an ‘investment’ that offers attractive but more often unrealistic returns.

UK Pensions minster Steve Webb said: “People must be vigilant – to get genuine guidance on their options they should contact the free and impartial Pension Wise service.

“If you are cold-called by someone offering a free pensions review, it is probably a scam – so put the phone down.”

Pension Wise is a joint effort by Citizens Advice and the Pensions Advisory Service. It will offer free advice to help people to understand the new pension reforms.

Anyone concerned about approaches being made to them can contact the Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 1231047. If they have already accepted an offer that they are now concerned about they can contact Action Fraud online, while the Pension Wise website has also been launched.

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