Don’t get scammed! - Knowledge Hub

Unfortunately, pension scams are now very common with victims losing some or all of their hard-earned pension savings.


What do you need to check?

Scams can be very hard to spot, but before you do anything, here are some things that you need to check:

  • Did they cold call you?

    Cold calls relating to pensions are illegal, so if you have been contacted out of the blue by a company that you do not know, you need to check that they are legitimate.

  • Are they registered with the FCA?

    To be able to give you advice, your adviser must be registered with The Financial Conduct Authority. You can check the register on the FCA website.

  • Have there been complaints about the company?

    Have there been complaints about the adviser, firm or investment? Do a thorough internet search. Also check on forums and social media for mentions.

  • How can you contact them?
    • How easy is it to contact them?
    • Is their address a PO Box or a serviced office? Again, do a thorough internet search of the address to check.
    • Can you contact the business at their registered office?
    • Is the contact number a mobile number?

Is it too good to be true?

  • Are you being offered guaranteed high returns?
  • Are they promising that you can cash in any or all of your pension before the age of 55?
  • Are they offering a free pension review or to help you use tax loopholes to your advantage?
  • Are you being pressured into making a quick decision or under time pressure to sign documents? Has a courier been involved in the process?
  • Are the investments unregulated? You can check this at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

If you answer yes to any of these questions, there is a strong risk that the company is a scam. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, contact MoneyHelper. You can read more about pension scams on their website or you can call them on 0800 011 3797.


How to protect your savings

If you receive a call out of the blue about your pension, do not be afraid to hang up and never give any personal details.

Do your research. If you are considering transferring your pension savings be scam smart. Go to www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

Get impartial information or advice. You can use a financial adviser to help you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances. Make sure they are regulated by the FCA and never take investment advice from the company that contacted you. This may be part of the scam. You can find an independent adviser in your area on the MoneyHelper website. You will have to pay for the advice or services that you receive from the adviser.

If you are over 50 and have a Defined Contribution (DC) pension, Pension Wise offers appointments to talk through your retirement options.

Be very cautious. As well as losing your life savings you could also face a huge tax bill.

Remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

You can report an unauthorised firm or scam to the FCA using their online reporting form or by calling 0800 111 6768.

If you suspect a scam report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

If you do decide to transfer your benefits, the Trustee needs to check certain things about your adviser and the arrangement that you want to transfer to. These checks have been implemented to protect your benefits from scammers. You can read more about the checks on our ‘Trustee checks for transfers’ page. If the Trustee has any concerns, the transfer request may not be processed.



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