Self-Invested Personal Pension Providers
A SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) is a popular choice with some people these days. SIPPs are Government-approved schemes that allow the pension holder to make his or her own decisions about where to invest all or part of their pension pots. They have proved to be a success with many people, but it’s worth noting that they have also become the vehicle of choice for advisors and schemes that have fallen foul of the legal process in recent years.
Up until January 2019, it was perfectly legal for companies to cold call potential investors. This practice has now been banned, but before the ban a huge number of people were targeted by unscrupulous individuals and organisations. They used slick sales pitches, glossy marketing materials and exotic locations to persuade unsuspecting investors to sign up to schemes that promised a great deal but in the end returned very little.
Some even offered supposedly guaranteed returns for the investor. People who were innocently looking to get more from their holdings prior to what they hoped would be a comfortable retirement lost out, while the perpetrators simply got richer and richer. Advice, often extremely pushy advice, was given by unqualified brokers and introducers who made a small fortune in commissions. It was sophisticated, slick and wholly unsavoury.
Money from SIPPs has been lost through a number of now discredited schemes, including investment into such projects as:
It’s easy to see now why so many people were keen to invest in schemes that sounded so promising. We can have the benefit of hindsight now, of course, but at the time all these people were looking for was a way of enhancing their pension pots and life savings. They weren’t motivated by greed, they were simply trying to secure a better future for them and their loved ones.
There’s something unpleasant about the way these innocent men and women were subjected to cold calls, coerced by pushy sales experts and tempted by a supposedly safe investment. In truth, these were high-risk investments that really should have been left to people with a high net worth and an in-depth knowledge of the risks that were undoubtedly involved.