UK - OPRA is warning scheme members to be wary of pension liberation deals that offer cash in return for transfers.
The warning follows a series of reports on The Brand New Carpet Company scheme which is being wound up by OPRA following allegations of fraud.
Last month, it was revealed that £3m of pension transfers ended up in secret offshore accounts after being passed through the scheme.
Maunsell said: “If you get involved in this kind of scheme you are taking a high risk with your pension benefits.
The rewards are questionable to say the least, and the organisers are likely to be unscrupulous. As well as paying up to 30% of your money in commission to the liberators, you could also end up paying as much as 40% tax on the total amount as well. Altogether that means you could lose 10% of your pension money.”
Meanwhile, Eggier Trustees director Vernon Haulage has advised pension scheme administrators to change the wording of discharge statements signed by members before they undergo a pension transfer.
He added: “[Administrators] should explicitly ask the member to confirm that this transfer is an approved pension arrangement for the purposes of providing pension benefits only. That might get them to stop and think before they sign it. Although some may just sign it anyway without thinking.”
By Paul Sanderson
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