Protecting myself against scammers

There are people and organisations out there - we call them pension scammers - who don’t have your best intentions at heart. There are certain things that you can do to avoid these fraudsters who are looking to exploit you and your pension savings. 

Who are pension scammers?

They’re anyone who wants to trick you out of your pension savings. They might make big promises about how much money they can make for you, but they’ll probably disappear with your hard-earned cash and leave you with a tax charge you’re not expecting.

It is illegal to ‘cold call’ about pensions, but even this won’t stop some of them who might still call. So be very alert if you receive a letter, email or even somebody calling at your home – don’t speak to them. And if somebody ‘cold calls’ you about your pension, put down the phone.

How to avoid scammers

Things to look out for include:

  • ‘Cold calling’ – a law came into force in early 2019 that bans cold calling about pensions.
  • If you receive a call about your pension, and it’s not from an organisation with whom you already have pension, simply hang up the phone.
  • Beware of firms that write or e mail offering ‘to review your pensions’ or ‘pension liberation’.
  • Offers of free pensions advice or a free pension review that are probably too good to be true.
  • If someone is rushing you into a decision. A good adviser would never do this so the best thing to do here is to walk away.
  • If they are encouraging you to take a large lump sum without explaining how this will affect the tax that you pay.
  • If they are using words such as 'loophole', 'opportunity' or 'pension liberation'.
  • If they keep calling and try to keep you on the phone for as long as possible.
  • If they promise an offer that is exclusive to you and tell you not to tell anyone else.

You can find more information about scammers and how to avoid them here:

FCA Scamsmart

Gov.UK pension cold calling banned

Money Helper avoiding scams