• I don't want to lose my pension to fraud

  • Avoiding pension scams

    You've worked hard to build up your pension savings for retirement, don't let scammers take it away from you.

     

    It's estimated that nearly 3,000 savers have been conned out of an average of £15,000 each since 2014, after fraudsters persuaded them to cash in their pensions. (BBC News 2017)
  • How to avoid pension scams

    Like anything valuable, your pension becomes a target of illegal activity and scams from people promising high returns on ‘too good to be true’ investments, or access to your savings early.

    Take a look at the tips below to help you avoid scams.

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    How scammers might approach you

    Pension scammers will usually approach you by phone call, text message, email or in person and promise you one of the following -

    • Access to your pension before you reach 55
    • A free pension review
    • Immediate access to cash
    • A pension loan, so you can start enjoying your pension savings now

     

  • Signs to look out for

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    • Unsolicited approaches by phone call, text message, email or in person
    • When a firm doesn't allow you to call back
    • You're forced to make a quick decision, or are encouraged to transfer your pension quickly
    • Contact details you're given, or on their website are for mobile phones or a PO box address
    • The firm claims they can help you 'unlock' your pension before you reach 55
    • The firm claims to know of tax loopholes or promise extra tax savings
    • You're promised high rates of return on your investment for minimal risk
    • The firm implies they're part of a government initiative (by including 'Wise', 'Guidance' or 'Pension' in their name

    Pension Wise offers impartial and free information and guidance on your pension options. It will never contact you out of the blue to offer you a pension review and it has only one website: pensionwise.gov.uk

  • How can I avoid being caught out?

    Make sure you follow these simple rules:

    1. Reject any unsolicited calls, emails, text messages or visitors to your door. Legitimate companies will not cold call or contact you out of the blue.

    2. Check the FCA register of regulated companies, or the FCA warning list.

    3. If you're thinking about getting help with your pension, seek independent financial advice from an FCA regulated firm.

    The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) also has an online tool to help you identify a pension scam. You can access this tool by visiting their website www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/my-pension and clicking on "Identify a scam: Protect your pension.

    The Pensions Regulator also has lots of useful information to help you avoid being caught out.

  • What should I do if I'm the victim of a scam?

    If you’ve already signed something you’re now unsure about, contact your pension provider straight away. They might be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet.

    If you think you’ve been targeted by an investment scam, please report it to the FCA using their reporting form. They may be able to stop them from operating and scamming others like you.