The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland
Posted in General News and Newsletters
Pension scams are on the increase in the UK. Every day fraudsters are using sophisticated ways to part savers from their money and a lifetime’s savings can be lost in moments.
Scammers might try to persuade you to cash in your pension – either the whole lot or a large sum – and hand the money to them to invest. Watch out particularly for people contacting you out of the blue or adverts claiming to offer free pension reviews or no-obligation consultations.
Scam tactics include:
contact out of the blue
promises of high / guaranteed returns
free pension reviews
access to your pension before age 55
pressure to act quickly
Four simple steps to protect yourself from pension scams
1. Reject unexpected offers
If you’re contacted out of the blue about your pension, chances are its high risk or a scam. Be wary of free pension review offers. A free offer out of the blue from a company you have not dealt with before is probably a scam.
2. Check who you’re dealing with
Check the Financial Services Register (www.register.fca.org.uk) to make sure that anyone offering you advice or other financial services is FCA-authorised. If the firm is on the FCA Register, you should call the Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 to check the firm is permitted to give pension advice.
Beware of fraudsters pretending to be from a firm authorised by the FCA, as it could be what we call a ‘clone firm’. Use the contact details provided on the FCA Register, not the details they give you.
3. Don’t be rushed or pressured
Take your time to make all the checks you need – even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’. Be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true and don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.
4. Get impartial information and advice
The Pensions Advisory Service (www.thepensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk) – Provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
Pension Wise (www.pensionwise.gov.uk) – If you’re over 50 and have a defined contribution (DC) pension, Pension Wise offers pre-booked appointments to talk through your retirement options.
Financial advisers – It’s important you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances, so you should seriously consider using the services of a financial adviser. If you do opt for an adviser, be sure to use one that is regulated by the FCA and never take investment advice from the company that contacted you or an adviser they suggest, as this may be part of the scam.