Traditional workplace and private pensions are quite simple – most people save a set amount each month, which is then placed into a collective ‘pot’ to be invested in stable, low-risk mainstream schemes.
Once you reached retirement age, you then take your share and buy an annuity product, which provides you with a monthly ‘wage’.
However, when new pensions freedoms were introduced in 2015, pensioners were instead able to take their pension in a lump sum, spending it however they wanted.
And as Ken explained, this left a lot of people open to fraud.
"Many of our clients were advised to transfer their pension monies out of large well-known pension schemes, into Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPS), which were then invested into ‘storage pod’ type assets.
“In some cases this represented poor advice because the pension schemes they left were broadly based investments, and these were transferred into single asset higher risk 'storage pod' schemes.”
He added: "In almost every case, clients are embarrassed when they first meet us – they feel that they have acted foolishly. But they really shouldn't feel like that.
“Sometimes the advisers themselves have acted in good faith but have been caught out themselves. Some Scottish firms were central to this advice.
"And we represent people from every walk of life – lawyers, magistrates, business owners, nurses, retail workers, and ex-miners to name but a few."