Regulator ‘alert to pension scams’

11 March 2015

Last updated at 15:51

By Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

A regulator has vowed to be on the lookout for fraud and scams when new pension freedoms come into force in April.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, said he expected con-artists to strike when the reforms were still new.

“Scams and fraud, we know, tend to proliferate at the moment of maximum uncertainty,” he said in a speech.

New rules, making it easier to access pension pots, take effect on 6 April.

Those aged 55 and over will be able to spend their defined contribution pension savings as they wish, unless they have already bought an annuity, or retirement income.

Previous pension fraud has centred on persuading people to “liberate” their pensions before the age of 55, and Mr Wheatley said this was likely to continue.

“A particular risk, given that many of those approaching retirement today will – unlike their parents’ generation – be carrying debts with them,” he said.

However, criminals have already started to bombard people aged 55 and over who are approaching retirement with phone calls and text messages ahead of the April changes.

Bankruptcy is individual insolvency’s “nuclear choice” – a last resort to debt issues. That’s not to say it is not the ideal option for numerous – it commonly is (particularly if you aren’t a homeowner). But, anyone providing bankruptcy recommendations will inform you life will not be the same after ending up being broke – not least when it pertains to rebuilding your credit score in years to come. Clicking on the following link will get you more information on

Pensions analysts last week warned that the pension changes could prompt an “open season” for fraudsters.

The government’s own guidance service is called Pension Wise.