Your pension benefits are extremely valuable – make sure you keep them safe from scammers.
How to avoid scams
Pension scams are on the rise, with criminals using convincing language and slick sales tactics to get access to victims' retirement savings. The good news is that you can protect yourself from scams and keep your money safe.
Tips for keeping your money safe
Don’t respond to cold calls
It’s illegal for anyone to call, email, or write to you, out of the blue and ask you about your pension. Reputable financial advisers and investment managers don’t drum up business by making cold calls.
Be particularly suspicious of anyone who:
- Offers you a ‘free pension review’
- Says they can help you access your pension – especially if it’s before you’re 55 (or 50 in some jurisdictions)
- Claims they can get you higher returns on your retirement savings
- Pressures you to invest quickly to avoid losing out on a one-off opportunity
- Talks about legal loopholes or tax incentives, like taking more tax-free cash than allowed (which is usually between 25% and 30%, depending on your jurisdiction and your pension scheme)
If in doubt, put the phone down, delete the email, or put the leaflet in the bin.
Don’t assume scammers are easy to spot
They are con-artists and often use professionally produced brochures and websites, sometimes copying the colours and fonts used by well-known companies. If in doubt, check with the financial authority or equivalent body where you live. They each hold a register of authorised financial services providers and provide advice about avoiding scams. You can read more about finding a regulated financial adviser under Finding a trusted adviser.