A fifth of people over 50 have been targeted by pension scammers, according to research from provider Retirement Advantage. The pensions firm said its survey, conducted by YouGov, found 17% of over 50s and 20% of over 55s has been approached by a company offering to ‘help’ them access their pension savings early. It said many scammers were offering services which included taking advantage of legal loopholes or a one-off investment opportunity. The most common method of contact was by telephone (50%), followed by post (24%) and then email / online (23%).
Please therefore be alert to the following instances:
1. An offer to help you access your pension savings before age 55. It is only possible to do this in rare situations, for instance if you are very ill, so be careful and always check with your pension provider.
2. A recommendation to take a large amount of money, or your whole pension pot, in a lump sum and invest it. There are significant tax implications if you take lots of your savings in one go, so check the tax position before you make any decisions.
3. Warnings that the deal is limited and you must act now. Choosing the right retirement income product(s) is a big decision and shouldn’t be done quickly or under pressure.
4. An encouragement not to get professional financial advice or talk to Pension Wise. An adviser would be able to explain the rules and tax implications of different options and help you make the best choices for your personal circumstances, so be very suspicious if this is discouraged.
5. Contact by somebody who is not on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register. The register is a public record of all the regulated firms and individuals in the financial services industry, including retirement income providers and investment companies.
Source: Retirement Advantage
If you receive calls of this nature, please contact us in the first instance in order that we may help you establish the legitimacy of the contact, and provide you with guidance as to the options available to you.