You probably read in the papers that, in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor was going to take action to stop scammers cold calling pension investors and convincing them to make very dubious investments. In the event, what we got was an announced “consultation on options to tackle pension scams”.
This consultation is very welcome. There are too many scammers out there, and too many people are being tricked into making very inappropriate investments. Anything that can be done to make it more difficult for these scammers to operate is a good thing.
The issue, though, is far wider than simply downright fraud. Far more money has been lost from poor performing pension investments than has ever been lost from pension scams.
Many clients have never reviewed their pensions since they were first set up years ago. Even if the funds in which they were invested at the time were suitable, it is most unlikely they will have remained the best choice in all the intervening years. It is not unusual for us to come across new clients whose entire provision for retirement is invested in funds that have not grown at all for many years. This is not because all pensions are poor investments. It is because those clients have never had a professional review.
Avoiding pension scammers is not that difficult if you know what to look for. In particular you should ensure anyone planning to review your pension is a properly regulated financial adviser. You can do this by visiting the Financial Conduct Authority at https://register.fca.org.uk/ and searching for the individual or his or her company. If they are not listed by the FCA you should not allow them to review your pension.
Avoiding a loss of return by being invested in the wrong pensions or wrong funds is not so simple. A good financial adviser will take into account many factors before advising you on where you should be invested.
The best way to avoid this more insidious loss is by retaining a good financial adviser who will regularly review your investments and ensure they are still appropriate to your needs. We do this for our clients every three months.
By retaining a good financial adviser you will also be taking the right action to avoid being scammed. If you are presented with an offer that looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true! But if you have a good financial adviser you will know where to turn just to be certain.
If you have not already retained a good financial adviser to keep your pension investments under regular review, you should take action right now to do so.
Ring us on 023 8089 2111 right now and find out whether your pension investments are the most suitable for your own needs.