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Beware of pension scams


Pension scams are schemes that try to trick you into transferring your pension savings or releasing funds from your pension before you’re 55. They often promise high returns, low risk, or access to your money before retirement, but in reality, they can leave you with little or no money for your future.


Pension scams are on the rise in the UK, and anyone can fall victim to them. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator estimate that pension scam victims have an average of £75,000 stolen from them1Some scammers have very convincing websites and other online presence, which make them look like legitimate companies1.


How to spot a pension scam

Pension scams often include:

  • cold calls, emails, texts, or social media messages about your pension
  • offers of a free pension review or a one-off investment opportunity
  • guarantees of better returns on your pension savings
  • help to release cash from your pension before you’re 55,
  • high-pressure sales tactics, such as time-limited offers or couriers waiting for documents.
  • unusual or overseas investments, such as property, renewable energy, or forestry
  • complicated structures, so it’s not clear where your money will end up.
  • fees or charges that are not clearly explained.

If you see any of these signs, be very wary and do not agree to anything without checking the facts first.


How to protect yourself from pension scams

The best way to protect yourself from pension scams is to:

  • reject any unsolicited contact about your pension.
  • check who you’re dealing with before changing your pension arrangements.
  • don’t be rushed or pressured into making any decisions.
  • get impartial advice from a regulated financial adviser before transferring your pension.
  • visit the FCA’s ScamSmart website2 to check for known scams or find an authorised adviser.
  • report any suspicious activity to the FCA and Action Fraud

If you’re a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, you should also be aware of the risks of transferring your pension to another scheme. The NHSBSA has warned that some NHS Pension Scheme members may have already been targeted by scammers3. You should only transfer your pension if you’re sure it’s in your best interests and you understand the consequences.



What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

If you think you’ve been scammed, or you’re worried about a pension offer you’ve received, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to limit the damage and get help.

You should:

  • contact your pension provider immediately and stop any further payments.
  • contact the FCA and Action Fraud to report the scam.
  • get in touch with The Pensions Advisory Service for free guidance on what to do next.
  • seek professional advice from a regulated financial adviser if you need help with your pension options.

Remember, it’s your pension and your future. Don’t let a scammer enjoy your retirement.



Read another blog: Employers ramp up counter-offers to retain staff | Dhpayroll


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