An investigation by Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ has cast new light on the tactics used by pension liberation salesmen to encourage savers to access their pension pot early.
The programme, which aired on Monday night, revealed how liberation firms attempt to persuade savers to withdraw their pension money before age 55.
In a phone conversation with an undercover reporter, a liberation salesman said: “What we offer is the chance to get money from your pension. The money comes back to you in the form of a loan [and] you actually get that back as a tax-free lump sum.
“It’s not illegal but it’s against the spirit of pensions and HMRC don’t like it, so in this situation actually keeping schtum is the best thing going forward for you.”
Another salesman from a separate liberation company said the firm would charge £6,000 for its service.
He said: “Let’s cut to the chase, we can do something with your fund and we obviously can release some funds from it.
“We tend to have fees of £6,000…we then release 25 per cent of the rest to you as commissions on a trade.
“It comes in under the radar, the Revenue are not aware.”
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “The charges on these liberation schemes are astronomical and HMRC needs to come down on the people promoting these schemes like a tonne of bricks.”