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Be aware of pension scams

16th March 2015 Print

Approaching retirement is an exciting time with a wealth of new opportunities and experiences on the horizon.

We all work hard to be able to enjoy this time so it is important to be careful about what you do with your money. Sadly there are some people out there who will try and take advantage so it is important to be aware of this when considering an investment.

As part of the The Pensions Regulator’s Scamproof Your Savings campaign, our pension and retirement expert, Jackie Spencer has come up with some top tips and advice to help safeguard your pension.

Be aware of cold callers

Scammers will often cold call you or contact you out of the blue about your pension. They may also run advertisements claiming to offer ‘free pension reviews’. If they are pushy or claim that they can help you access your pension before 55 be wary. Their aim will be to persuade you to cash in your pension pot and hand over the money to them to invest.

Be aware of the warning signs

Other warning signs include companies offering a ‘loan’, ‘saving advance’ or ‘cashback from your pension or references to ‘loopholes, overseas investments, creative or new investment techniques. Here are some particular scams to watch out for:

They try to persuade you to take your entire pension as cash – or a large lump sum – and let them invest it for you

They promise extra tax savings and/or very high returns from overseas investments or new or ‘creative’ investments

They claim to know of loopholes that will allow you to get more than the usual 25% of tax-free cash

They say they can help you or someone else unlock your pension before age 55

They encourage you to transfer your pension quickly, and even send documents to you by courier

You can read more about this on the Money Advice Service Website, How to spot a pension scam .

Double check credentials

There are a number of places you can go to check whether an organisation is who they say they are. Always make sure the adviser is offering regulated advice. You can check this at the FCA .

Don’t rush into making a decision

It is important to take time to carefully consider opportunities before making a decision. Before you agree to anything or sign on the dotted line, call the Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 for more information.

Alert Action on Fraud to potential scams

If you have made an investment and you are concerned that it may have been a scam, raise the alarm by calling Action on Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately.

Remember if an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is!

The Money Advice Service has plenty of information available to provide guidance about pensions and retirement. Just visit