Enjoy my retirement? Who are you kidding!

MR Smith, a UK Expat Spanish resident, was looking to take some money out of his pension.

He phoned the Life Company inthe UK and said he wanted £10,000to buy a new car. They told him, that as he was not yet aged over 55 he couldn’t take any money out of the pension under pension rules. They also said that even if he could take all or some of the money out, he would need to take advice from a Financial Adviser authorised to be able to advise him in Spain. Whilst Mr Smith was looking for an adviser locally, he suddenly got contacted out of the blue.

He rang them back and the caller said they were financial advisers in Spain specialising in high return investments and also specialised in pensions that allow clients to access their pension before they reach age 55. They would also allow him a free pension review and if he acted quickly he would have access to investments returning a guaranteed 20% a year for any money left invested in the pension pot.

Mr Smith couldn’t wait to send back the forms! In the end poor Mr Smith was scammed out of all of his pension fund, he had NOTHING LEFT!

When reading the above, hopefully you can identify some of the pension scammer’s tactics. These include: Contact out of the blue (either by phone or email), promises of high guaranteed returns, pressure to act quickly, access to your pension before age 55 and free pension reviews.

Another scam is where scammers design attractive offers to persuade you to transfer your pension pot to them or to release funds from it. It is then invested in high-risk funds such as overseas property, renewable energy bonds, forestry, storage units or it can be simply stolen outright! Funds such as these are not regulated so there is no way to get any money back.

So how can you protect yourself?

Firstly, it is perfectly true that if you are resident in Spain and you have a UK Pension such as Stakeholder or a Personal Pension that you will not be able to get UK regulated financial advice or recommendations to transfer, leave, or take money from your UK pension. For Company Pensions the rules are different. However, this does not mean you need to jump on a plane to go back to the UK to get advice!

It does mean though that you will need to find a Financial Adviser that is regulated to give financial advice in Spain to UK expats resident here. This includes a company holding a MIFID II license to advise on QROPs or SIPPS both new or existing. In addition, you should check the financial advisor is located in Spain and offers regulated investment funds for the pensions investments.

It is also important that the financial adviser concerned actually has a wealth of experience in the industry (not just claims to) and is qualified and works for a regulated and authorised Company.

So now you that have found him, why don’t you give him a call?

If you don’t know me already, my name is Andrew Gibson, 27 years in financial services and fully qualified. I am also a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI).

I work at Blacktower Financial Management International Ltd (BFMI). BFMI have been in the Costa Blanca for over 20 years and is over 30 years old holding all the regulatory permissions and the MIFID II license to advise on QROPs, SIPs and pension transfers.

We have thousands of satisfied clients all around the world as well as a wealth of clients we continue to advise in the Costa Blanca Region.

So if you want to leave your pension worries behind, start with a consultation with me and have your pension questions answered. Call me now on 603 612 464 or email: andrew.gibson@blacktowerfm.com

The above information was correct at the time of preparation and does not constitute investment advice and you should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.

Blacktower Financial Management Ltd is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered with both the DGS and CNMV.

Blacktower Financial Management (Int) Ltd is licensed in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and is registered with both the DGS and CNMV in Spain.