Adviser slams misleading pension liberation firm

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Daniel Cawley, partner of East Sussex-based 121 Financial Services, said he received a call from a company called Yardstick Marketing on behalf of Bury-based Pension Matters Associates on his home phone number, despite being a member of the telephone preference service, and was told he could be eligible for £1000 cashback on his pension.

He said: “After receiving several automated phonecalls with this message I pressed a button to arrange for a person to call me, who subsequently sent letters of authority for my personal pension and two previous company pensions.

“It’s interesting to note that the letters of authority specifically say I have not been induced to fill them out, but what is the promise of £1000 cashback if it is not an inducement?

“I was very alarmed by the call and subsequent conversations I had with the firm as people who may not be as knowledgable as me on pensions could be so easily misled.”

A spokesman for Yardstick Marketing was unavailable for comment when Financial Adviser went to press.

Ross Daly, director of Pension Matters Associates, said: “All we are is an administration centre. Yardstick is one of a number of clients that would generate customers for a pension review.

“We obtain a transfer value and send that information back to Yardstick.”

He said he did not know what the next step was.

This followed comments by Christine Brightwell, director of regulatory governance and risk for pension provider B&CE, who said: “All scheme members are now targets of pension liberation fraud, no matter how modest their pension pots. In some cases, pots of less than £1000 have been targeted with the promise of easy money by unlocking your pension.”


HMRC issued a fresh warning on pension liberation schemes last week. In a statement on its website, it said it was working extremely closely with partner agencies and other regulatory bodies” to “detect, disrupt and deter pension liberation activity”.

In March, the Pensions Regulator vowed to continue its crackdown on pension liberation by what it calls “predators”, with chief executive Bill Galvin saying: “There can be a huge sting in the tail for those who are tempted by the sales patter.

“Providers who don’t carry out due diligence before processing a transfer into a liberation scheme may be placing members at high risk.”