Phoenix Group prevents £30m of fraudulent pension transfers in the UK
One of the largest specialist consolidators of closed life pension funds, Phoenix Group, has publically announced staggering levels of fraud within the pension industry, specifically the pension release sector.
Phoenix Group holds nearly £75 billion in assets owner by a little over than 6.1 million policyholders, these include policies with some very well-known brands, including Axa, SunLife and Abbey Life. For the past 3 years Phoenix has used internal processes to detect and stop almost £30 million in illegal pension transfers brought about by unscrupulous business practices.
Cold-calling, a growing symptom of the pension release problem
A number of telling symptoms were shown in the report including that pension release cold-calling was on the increase. This when coupled with the results of a poll carries out by Opinium Research show how dire the situation has become. After speaking with over 2000 adults they discovered that more than a quarter (26%) had received a cold-call of one form another relating to their pension within the past 12 months.
60 percent of those were called on the phone, the remainder were hit by email or text message. One thing is for sure, fraudsters are using every trick in the book to try and get at your pension.
Worse still is quite a high proportion of those who were contacted actually did release cash from their pension, rubbing salt into the wounds of those trying to stamp out the practice.
Pension Release cold-calling will soon be illegal
Independent financial advisors have been calling for a change in the law to make it illegal to cold-call for pension related matters, and the soon to be enacted legislation cannot come too soon. The facts are that this type of direct selling is on the increase, up 20% since 2015.
The truth is this, there’s’ an awful lot of cash sitting in pension schemes and this acts as a magnet to those who would attempt to rob you of it.
It really is a case of “buyer-beware”.