The Pensions Regulator’s 10 steps to protect against pension scams

By Sam Thomas | 25th April 2016 | 14 min read




The Pensions Regulator’s latest bulletin discusses pension scams and what you can do to protect your hard-earned funds against scammers.

Thousands of people in the UK have unfortunately lost their life savings after falling for a pension scam, don’t be next. If you’re thinking about how to invest your retirement savings, follow these ten steps to protect yourself, and your pension.

1. Be wary of cold calls and unsolicited texts or emails

Scammers often claim they’re working for or on-behalf of Government-backed bodies, these organisations would never phone or text you to offer a pension review.

2. Check everything for yourself

People have fallen for scams because they’ve been ‘recommended by a friend’. Do your own research, even someone who considers themselves to be financially savvy can be strung by a pension scam.

3. Make sure your advisor is on the Financial Conduct Authority approved register

Pension scammers may pose as financial advisors, check that yours is registered on the FCA website to be sure.

4. Check the FCA’s list of known scams

The FCA maintains a list of known pension scams which is updated regularly. Check that the company you’ve been contacted by isn’t on the list.

5. Steer clear of overseas investment deals

The Pensions Regulator explain that well-known scams include unregulated investment in hotels, vineyards and other overseas opportunities.

6. Don’t fall for ‘guaranteed’ returns of professional looking websites or brochures

You can never guarantee anything with an investment, so if you hear guaranteed returns this should act as a warning sign. Question everything, however credible it looks or sounds.

7. Don’t be rushed into a decision

Scammers will try to pressure you with ‘time limited offers’ or send a courier to wait at your door whilst you sign documentation. As with all contracts, take your time to read over the content to make sure you fully understand what it is you’re signing.

8. If you’re aged 50 or over and have a DC pension, talk to Pension Wise

Pension Wise is there to help you discuss your retirement options, visit their website for more information and to check what kind of pension you have.

9. Ask The Pensions Advisory Service for help if you have doubts

You can contact The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 or visit their website for free pensions advise and information.

10. Contact your provider and call Action Fraud if you’ve already signed and think you’ve been scammed

If you’ve already signed something and you’re now unsure about it, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and contact your pension provider immediately. They may be able to put a halt to a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet.

It’s important that you only deal with credible, reliable sources when discussing your pension. We’ve put together a free guide which identifies 11 auto enrolment myths and truths to help you plan for your retirement, safe in the knowledge that auto enrolment is working for you.

Auto enrolment is the biggest change to pensions in decades. But with so many people talking about it, it can be difficult to know what is and isn't true.

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