Consumer champion Which? is putting its neck on the line by taking on the pensions industry in response to claims that consumers are being ripped off by George Osborne’s reforms.
The organisation has been on the “Road to Damascus” following its rebrand from The Consumers’ Association, a business more known for its rip-off prize draws than for giving out sound advice.
Now it has committed itself to tackling the pensions reforms, introduced by the last Government but only just starting to bite. Recent reports have exposed how pension firms are making it virtually impossible for the over 55s to get hold of their money, and, when they do, many are being charged exorbitant exit fees.
Which? boss Peter Vicary-Smith is training his sights between those who have little pension provision and those with more than £300,000 in the retirement pot.
He told The Independent: “It is that group in the middle who aren’t being serviced at the moment. We are looking seriously at pensions advice, another market where people are desperately in need of help.”
But it is not simply an act of philanthropy, as Which? has launched its own commercial push, taking on the pensions market by offering what it claims will be independent advice.
Whether the organisation will end up being linked with new flow of nuisance calls, dodgy data sales and rogue companies getting in on the act is another matter. The Information Commissioner’s Office has already stated that the pensions market could surpass the PPI sector for the number of scammers seeking to make a quick buck.
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