The Serious Fraud Office has launched a wide-ranging investigation into the sale of storage “pods” which has put over £120m of investors’ money at risk.
Several pension schemes, including the Capita Oak Pension and Henley Retirement Benefit plans, and self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) are being investigated as part of the probe which covers investments made since 2011.
The alleged fraud involves purchasing self-storage containers and then renting them out.
Over a thousand people are believed to have been affected, most of them holding the investments in their pensions. The sums invested total over £120m, said the SFO.
The Westminster Pension Scheme and Trafalgar Multi Asset Fund are also being investigated in relation to other types of investments.
Pension reforms have led to savers leaving money invested after retirement and a boom in the number of new Sipps which allow a greater range of investments than workplace or traditional personal pensions.
Kate Smith, of Aegon, the pension company, said the thousand investors identified by the SFO could be the “tip of the iceberg”.
She said: “[This] is a timely reminder that unregulated unusual investments at home or aboard come with a high risk that people could lose all their hard-earned pension and other savings. Savers must be on their guard.