Protect your pension

Be ScamSmart: it is important that you take steps to guard your pension savings from investment scammers and negligent trustees.

How to avoid a pension scam

Victims of pension scams last year lost an average of £91,000 each to fraudsters. To help prevent you from becoming their next target:

  • Be wary of calls out of the blue. Get the company’s name and establish their credentials. Check the FCA’s Financial Services Register
  • Use an FCA-authorised firm and you will have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme should anything go wrong.
  • Seek financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements. The Pensions Advisory Service provides free impartial information and you can also use a financial adviser to help you make the best decision
  • You cannot access your pension before the age of 55 and if you do so, you run the risk of being landed with a large tax bill for the tax free contributions to your pension, as well as further penalties
  • Take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’ and be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true
  • Just because the adviser has your details, doesn’t mean they really know who you are as they could have easily taken your details from social media sites or other sources publicly available on the internet
  • If you are offered to set up a workplace pension scheme by someone you don’t know, do your checks first and also know that you can contact a pension provider directly

For further information about scams you can visit the ScamSmart website and if you suspect a scam, you can report it to Action Fraud UK.

Learning from others

Since 2015, we have wound-up 24 companies and there have been close to 3,750 connected victims, who have lost investments worth £202 million.

Anyone can become a victim of a pension scam. Just read the story from Maria McCulloch after she was misled by cold callers.

You can also listen below to one person’s experience of how they became a victim of an investment scam

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