Wednesday 24th April 2024

Your pension: think now…to avoid scammers later


When I was in my early twenties, my younger sister had a visit at home from a financial advisor.

I was quite taken aback and wondered why she would want to talk to someone about pensions when she was that young.  It really bothered me, specially because suddenly the world seemed full of financial advisers who wanted to sell you something.  ‘Advice’ seemed the wrong word.

My sister was collecting endowments like there was no tomorrow. But me? Whoops, I had none.

Her foresight back then ended up bothering me even more a few years later – but for almost the opposite reason – when I realised with a jolt that she had been quite right and was bang on time thinking about her finances at that early stage.

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By the time my sister was in her 40s, she was collecting matured endowments like there was no tomorrow. But me? Whoops, I had none.

I have tried to make up for this though the the intervening years by accumulating pensions linked to this and that. My first was with Equitable Life – but that collapsed in 2000 some years into my investment.

Now I realise I need to have a ‘pension assessment’ to look at all of those little pots and decide what to do with them.

But who to use for that service? When you make that first appointment, can you believe their claims of no obligations?

Money Supermarket advises you to be very careful who you ask to assess your pension (which you are entitled to do after you are 55) – because of the potential to get caught up in scams. So I’ll definitely be taking their advice.

We live and learn…sometimes.

Now we all face the prospects of retiring from work two weeks before we die, everything seems different.  I have always been markedly deadline-oriented.  I will keep you posted on my investigations regularly, if you like.

Sorry there are not many funny aspects to this, except how clever my sister was, and probably still is. We live and learn, sometimes.

[Editor’s update: Cathi Harrison from Para-Sols reminds us that you can have your pension assessed at any age. Thanks Cathi!]

Anne Hutchison

Mouthy Blogger

York-based artist. Of the baby boomer gen, loves yoga and hates overpriced travel. Freelancer with a lust for life.

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