We have become increasingly aware of companies marketing directly to the public and claiming that they can take money out of their pension before the usual retirement age of 55. Please please please exercise extreme caution – early access to pensions is rarely in anyone’s best interests.
The FSA (Financial Services Authority) are paying close attention to these companies. You could end up with a tax bill of 70% of the value of your pension fund and the companies marketing these schemes are not always up front about disclosing the potential for an unauthorised payment charge.
If you are concerned about one of these schemes you can call the FSA Consumer Helpline on 0845 606 1234.
HMRC have set up a dedicated counter-fraud and avoidance team to deal with this problem so be forewarned that attempts to take money out of your pension fund early could have nasty consequences.
If it sounds too good to be true that’s usually the case. Don’t be swayed by the lure of immediate cash out of your pension. Seek proper independent advice before entering into any such arrangement and if you have any doubt about the legitimacy of the scheme ring the FSA directly with your concerns.
By David Gibson