Expats Most Vulnerable After Pension Freedom

With the new pension flexibility rules coming into effect, a pensions adviser is warning that British expats are among the most vulnerable to pension scammers


James McLeod, head of pensions at AES International, wants expats to be wary of approaches from unscrupulous salespeople. “The introduction of the new pension freedoms in the UK is a watershed moment for retirees,” says McLeod. “Many pensioners will now be free to make decisions which could benefit them immensely, particularly in the UK where there is a high level of investor protection.

“However, those retirees who are based overseas, or who are planning to retire in the sun, need to be very careful about what they do with their precious retirement savings. Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous salesmen who specifically target expats as they are not very well protected in many countries by local laws.

“We urge anyone considering making any decisions to check to make sure the firm they are dealing with is regulated and would say that if you are unsure do not do anything. It takes a lifetime to build a pension, but only minutes to sign it away.”