Protect yourself from Pension Scams
Pension scammers are targeting people like you with the average victim losing £91,000 each.
Scams are hard to spot and are often disguised with credible websites, testimonials and materials which make them look like the real thing.
To help you spot the signs and protect yourself from a scam, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Pensions Regulator suggest following four simple steps.
Step 1 - Reject unexpected offers
If you’re contacted out of the blue about a pension opportunity, chances are it’s a scam. Pension cold calling is illegal, and you should be very wary. An offer of a free pension review from a firm you’ve not dealt with before, is probably a scam.
Step 2 - Check who you’re dealing with
Search ScamSmart and check the FCA’s register to make sure anyone offering you advice is authorised. If they are, check they’re permitted to give pension advice by calling the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you don’t use an FCA-authorised firm, you risk not having access to compensation schemes.
Step 3 - Don’t be rushed or pressured
Take your time to make all the checks you need – even if this means turning down what seems to be an ‘amazing deal’.
Step 4 - Get impartial information or advice
You should seriously consider seeking financial advice before changing your pension arrangements. In some cases, for example where you are wanting to transfer more than £30,000 from a Defined Benefit Scheme (e.g. the Local Government Pension Scheme), you must obtain this advice.
Consider using The Pensions Advisory Service which provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
If you suspect a scam, report it
You can report an unauthorised firm or scam to the FCA using the online reporting form or on 0800 111 6768.
If you suspect a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Be ScamSmart with your pension. To find out more, visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
Our Pledge to Combat Pension Scams
Leicestershire Pension Fund has signed up to The Pension Regulator’s (TPR) Pledge to combat pension scams. By doing so we're committing to:
- Regularly warning members about pension scams
- Recognising the warning signs of a scam by ensuring key staff have access to training resources such as the scams module in the TPR’s trustee toolkit
- Taking appropriate due diligence measures by carrying out checks on pension transfers and documenting transfer procedures
- Clearly warning members if they insist on high risk transfers being paid
- Reporting concerns about a scam to the authorities and communicating this to the scheme member
Further information on how to avoid pension scams is available on the The Pension Regulator (TPR) website.