That april financial

Changes to pension rules could result in a flood of spam texts and calls from fraudsters to savers, the privacy watchdog warned last night.The Information Commissioners Office warned that pension scams could be the next PPI with rogue firms bombarding the public with messages in an effort to get them to sign up to dubious schemes.Yesterday Pensions Minister Steve Webb, architect of the reforms, said anyone cold called by a firm offering them a free pensions review should put the phone down. 
There is already growing evidence that scammers are gearing up for the April 6 pension liberation day
In three weeks Britain will undergo a pensions revolution allowing older workers to cash in their pension pots and spend the money as they wish, rather than having to buy an annuityYou can spend years saving into a pension only to find yourself tricked out of your money in the blink of an eye, he warned. In three weeks Britain will undergo a pensions revolution allowing older workers to cash in their pension pots and spend the money as they wish, rather than having to buy an annuity.But the ICO fears it could be a bonanza for sharks and snake oil salesmen targeting older people with texts and cold calls to try to get their hands on their pension pots.
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Anyone who hands over their investment as a result of scam messages could be left penniless – and still facing a huge tax bill. Criminals are urging pension savers to invest in scams ranging from dubious wealth funds to overseas homes that do not even exist.There is already growing evidence that scammers are gearing up for the April 6 pension liberation day. Tricks include luring pensioners with the promise of impartial advice.The number of spam calls and texts related to pensions reported to the watchdog rose by 66 per cent in February.Pensions Minister Mr Webb has in recent months admitted he himself was cold called and sent spam texts about pensions.
Yesterday Pensions Minister Steve Webb, architect of the reforms, said anyone cold called by a firm offering them a free pensions review should put the phone downLast month he told a conference he had received a text saying: If you have a frozen pension prior to 55 you are entitled to a free review. Please call back.Yesterday the ICO served a legal notice on a company in Swansea, Help Direct UK, for sending nearly 190,000 spam texts including many thousands about pensions.One message said: As you have over 10k in your pension, your pension has lost £3,219.43 over the last few years, to get back & find out your payout reply REVIEW.The message was identified by the ICO as being both deeply misleading and sent to those who had not signed up for direct marketing, as the law requires.They fear claims farmers are using the promise of free advice or a windfall investment to gather thousands of pensioner details to sell on in the wake of the reforms. The ICO said Help Direct UK told a web of lies about how it obtained the recipients contact details.The enforcement notice requires the firm to stop its activities or it could face court action. New rules which come into force on the same day as the pensions reforms will allow the ICO to impose fines of up to half a million pounds on cold call and nuisance text firms.Andy Curry of the ICO said: There is clearly the potential for a huge spike in the number of these scam texts and calls. It has the potential to be the next PPI. The Pensions Regulator added its voice to the warnings. Chief executive Lesley Titcomb said: The people behind pension scams are often agile, sophisticated and organised. We expect the scams to continue to evolve. Martin Wheatley, chief executive of another regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, said he was seeing an accelerating trend in activity by fraudsters.The reforms were widely welcomed last year as a response to concerns that annuities had become poor value for money.Retirement pots can be used like a bank account, with many restrictions abolished. There have been concerns, however, that some pensioners might squander their savings on cars or holidays.    How crooks will target youPromised pension freedoms herald a bright new dawn for millions of savers. Unfortunately, they will also act as a clarion call for crooks to target millions of pounds about to be unlocked by the trusting and the unwary.The danger lies in scammers ability to contact you by phone, text or email – and their persistence to wear you down.Their first approach is usually the most enticing. A text might typically offer a free pension review, one-off investment opportunity or promise of upfront cash.But the minute you respond to the cold-caller, theyll begin to crank up the pressure. Their prize is your pension pot – and they need you to agree to sign a funds transfer form to get their hands on it.So the promises will come thick and fast. They might suggest juicy returns of 8 per cent or more, talk authoritatively about locking away cash in overseas investments or dangle cashback payments.To soothe fears, they may also claim to be a Government adviser or say theyve been endorsed by officials. And while there will be talk of you, at 55, having plenty of time to lock your money away, there will be no mention of the imminent tax bill youll need to pay. The fee theyll charge, perhaps as high as 30 per cent, will be glossed over.It might take a dozen or so emails and phone calls – or even ten times that – but once youre hooked, theyll then push you to sign a transfer form as soon as possible.This may be sent to you by email as a form to fill in online or even couriered over to your front door. Youll be convinced its a simple final matter of filling in the details of your existing pension scheme – usually its name and number.Legally, your original pension provider – usually an insurer – can only agree to transfer the money on the condition it will go straight to another registered pension plan.However, the scammers – acting as the broker – do no such thing. Theyll take the money and then release only a chunk of it to you as a loan or cash sum.And once your funds are released from your insurer and into a new account – often overseas and outside UK jurisdiction or the arm of the regulator – then your chances of ever seeing the cash again will vanish.You may find the scammer picks up the phone the first time you call to check up on your investment – but they wont be there the next time.As well as the hefty fee, HMRC will then slap you with a tax charge of up to 55 per cent because youve taken out an unauthorised payment from your pension.Always check the credentials of the company and any advisers, who should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority at fca.org.uk. If you think a company is trying to get you to liberate your pension, report the company to Action Fraud or call it on 0300 123 2040. It can prosecute companies found breaking the law. 

There man a of

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has spoken to Sportsmails Pete Jenson ahead of their Champions League last-16 showdown with Barcelona.Here are the top 10 quotes from the interview with the Chilean boss.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has spoken to Sportsmails Pete Jenson  Pellegrini on Manchester Citys triumphs last season going unrecognised We were fighting on all fronts. We won the Capital One Cup, reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, played in the Champions League and we won the League scoring 157 goals. Liverpool only had one competition and thats an enormous advantage. Pellegrini on Liverpool getting the attentionThe slip from (Steven) Gerrard? They lost that game 2-0, not 1-0. If he had not slipped, does it end in a draw? Wed still have been two points ahead of them. So why was it Liverpool losing the league and not us winning it?Pellegrini on being told to buy English players‘It is important to have English players but can you sign them? Can you get (Raheem) Sterling? Maybe if you go to Liverpool with £100million you can. If I want an English player in the position of (David) Silva who is there? Maybe (Wayne) Rooney, but who else?Pellegrini on European silverwareManchester United in all of that great era under (Sir Alex) Ferguson only won two Champions Leagues. Real Madrid went 32 years without winning the European Cup. It is important to be there in the later rounds but you cant think that not being there is a disaster.
Pellegrini poses with the Premier League trophy in May 2014 after he saw his team win the titlePellegrini on BarcelonaYou can talk about tactics and technique but if you go a man down against Barcelona, youre put in a terrible position. It is not a disgrace to get knocked out by them. Their squad, if it is not the best in the world, it is the second best. No other team can put together Leo Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez but I want to play them with 11 and if they knock us out then let that be because they were better than us. Pellegrini on his days as a centre back before becoming a managerIf you want to say I was a disaster of a player then say it. But give me another disaster of a player who played almost 500 games across 14 years. Pellegrini on Manchester Citys richesThis year Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all spent more than us. People dont accept that we are trying to become a big club in a very short time. I dont think theres such a difference between the top five or six squads. Previous
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