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Opra probes pension-release firms

Opra and the Inland Revenue are investigating several organisations which offer to convert pension funds in to tax free lump sums.

The watchdog has warned the public to be on their guard against these schemes, which often attract people who urgently need cash.

Operators usually charge policyholders high commissions ranging from 20 to 30 per cent of the lump sum and while transactions are often arranged using offshore companies and bank accounts, investors can also end up paying tax on their cash.

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