Knowledge Centre

Avoiding Pension Scams

Pension scams can take many forms, and usually they appear to be a legitimate investment opportunity. But pension scammers are clever, and know all the tricks to get you to hand over your savings. To avoid being caught out by a pension scam, remember these 4 tips to avoid a pension scam;

  1. Calling out of the blue
    Be aware of anyone calling out of the blue offering FREE or CHEAP pension reviews. Since 2019, there has been a ban on cold calling about pensions. This means you should not be contacted by any company about your pension, unless you’ve asked them to contact you.If you have been contacted when you didn’t request it, the best thing to do is not to engage and end the call as soon as you can. You can say “The line is poor or someone is at the door” whatever you need to do to get the person off the phone. It’s important to take control of the phone call and end it.
  2. Offering early access to your money
    Be aware of companies offering early access to your pension money. This is rarely in anyone’s interest other than the scammer, and you could be hit with outrageous early exit fees, a hefty tax bill and without enough or any money remaining for retirement.
  3. Charging for free services
    Be aware of companies offering to help you ‘trace lost pensions‘ or ‘obtain a pension statement‘. These services are already available for free from the government website GOV.UK. Scammers often try to charge for these services and use them as a way to gain your confidence, and then divert your pension funds.
  4. Seek Advice
    Contact The Pensions Advisory Service if you’re not sure about something. They can give you free and impartial advice, and spend time talking you through your options. You can contact them by phone, using an online query form, or through the webchat function.

REMEMBER: if someone promises you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you think you’ve been targeted by a scammer, seek immediate advice, contact Action Fraud.