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Armed Forces Pension Under Attack

29 October 2018

Armed Forces Pensions were left vulnerable to unsuitable pension advice following a change in legislation.

In April 2015 the government brought in changes regarding the long-term structure and performance of public service pension schemes following recommendations made by the Hutton report. 

Whilst this move was to enable the future sustainability of these pension schemes, it unfortunately created a transfer deadline effect. Scheme members were left open to being targeted by potential pension transfer scammers, urging them to move their pensions before the option of transferring closed.

Tempted with offers of cash incentives, tax free lump sums and the false promise of “unlocking” their pension pot before retirement age – members understandably opted to try and make the most out of their retirement nest eggs.

Unfortunately this had a devastating consequences on their future finances.

Other Sectors Hit

The Armed Forces aren’t the only public service workers to be hit by defined benefit pension transfer scammers.

A recent high-profile case involving a former police officer, who became the victim of a pension transfer scam, as a result of the previous provider failing to carry out adequate checks on the new pension scheme before allowing the transfer to take place.

In a landmark ruling, The Pensions Ombudsman held the Northumbria Police Authority accountable for their lack of due diligence and neglect in their failure to also send The Pension Regulator’s anti-scam leaflet.

The Northumbria Police Authority was ordered to re-instate the former officer’s pension.

Whilst this is an individual case, it has offered hope to those in similar positions. Serving as a reminder to pension providers to tighten their procedures and make it harder for future scammers to operate.

Need some help?

Did you transfer out of your Armed Forces Pension, had dealings with Caledonian International Associates and worry you’ve been mis-sold?  Call and have a chat with one of our expert advisers.

We offer a free initial assessment to help establish if you have a case. There’s no obligation to use our service!

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