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Pension fraud

All that glitters isn’t gold. Discover how to dig deeper and protect your pension with our tips.

What is pension fraud?

Pension frauds, or pension scams, essentially target pension scheme members to part with their hard-earned money. Fraudsters might ask their victims to transfer their pension pot into either non-existent or non-genuine schemes set-up to defraud people of their investments. Or, they might offer them cash incentives to gain early access to their pension benefits - referring to them as a pension loan. But these so-called opportunities often turn out to be a scam and leave the pension holder with significant losses and serious tax implications

The coronavirus outbreak has affected all kinds of companies, including those listed on the stock market. As a result, markets have been volatile and are likely to remain so for a while. This can have an impact on pensions, leading to additional worry for savers. It can also lead to an increase in scams, as unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the situation.

Spotting and avoiding pension fraud

If you're looking to make any changes to your pension arrangements, be cautious and do it the safe way. In other words, do your own research first, and seek advice from an impartial source, such as a financial adviser or accountant. It’s wise to wait until you’re armed with all the right information for your specific needs, before making any changes. 

Take your time. Thoroughly check out the firm or person that you are dealing with to ensure that they are reputable and ensure that any provider or scheme you are considering is genuine.
 

Unexpected contact
Unrealistic offers and promises
Persuasive and time-sensitive sales tactics
Unusual investment opportunities
Offering early access to your pension
Impersonation of firms and ‘government’ schemes

Helpful resources

Don't be rushed or pressured into action. If you have any concerns relating to your Fidelity pension, 
call us on 0800 358 7712.  If you have paid any monies directly yourself and are concerned, then contact your bank or building society immediately. If you've not acted immediately, ScamSmart can help you figure out whether a pension is genuine or not.
 

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A Financial Conduct Authority tool

ScamSmart

To help you avoid pension scams and check if a firm is genuine

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Making workplace pensions work

The Pensions Regulator

The UK regulator of workplace pension schemes

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By the Money & Pensions Service

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)

TPAS provides free and impartial information and guidance.

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Free government guidance

Pension Wise

Offers pre-booked appointments, if you are over 50 and have a defined contribution pension, to give free impartial guidance on your retirement options.

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To stop fraud

Take Five

A national campaign offering advice to help consumers protect themselves against financial fraud

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National Reporting Centre

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime

Other threats to watch out for

Suspicious emails and phone calls

Learn how to spot a fraudulent email or phone call, so you’re not reeled in.

Investment scams

Be wise. Don’t fall prey to too-good-to-be-true, high-pressure, deadline-driven offers.

Financial abuse

Find out more about criminal influence, to ensure you’re in control of your financial purse strings.

Identity theft

Look beyond the disguise. Impersonation can be the first step to someone stealing your assets.