Interactive Investor

How to avoid a pension scam

What is a pension scam?

A pension scam is a type of fraudulent activity aiming to take money from someone’s pension. Scammers create attractive propositions in an attempt to persuade you to transfer your pension to them or release funds from it.  The funds are then invested in high risk and/or unusual investments or stolen.

How to spot a pension scam

A scammer may contact you:

  • Out of the blue
  • Promising high/guaranteed returns
  • Offering a free pension review
  • Offering you the opportunity to access your pension before age 55
  • Pressuring you to act quickly

How to avoid a pension scam

There are steps you can take to avoid a pension scam:

  • Check the company contacting you is genuine and FCA authorised by looking at the Financial Services Register
  • Take your time to carry out the checks you need to
  • End contact with a company – If you are receiving cold calls or being pressured into making a decision, you can end contact with the company

ii makes the pension scams pledge

The Pensions Regulator is encouraging pension providers to pledge to adopt industry best practice in preventing scams. We therefore commit to:

  • Regularly warn customers about pension scams.
  • Raise awareness of pension scams when customers access or transfer their SIPP and strongly promote the Pensionwise Service.
  • Get to know the warning signs of a scam and best practice for transfers by completing the scams module in the Trustee Toolkit and encourage all relevant staff or trustees to do so.
  • Study and use the resources on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ScamSmart website, TPR's scams information and the PSIG Code of Good Practice.
  • Continued membership of PSIG's Pension Scams Industry Forum.
  • Report concerns about a scam to the authorities and communicate this to the scheme member.

Further information

If you are thinking about transferring to another provider, please read the information in our Pension Scams information booklet and on the FCA ScamSmart website.

We also recommend seeking advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser, or free and impartial pension guidance from MoneyHelper, or if you are 50 years of age or older, Pension Wise.

If you think a company is trying to scam you, report it to the Information Commissioner’s office online or by calling 0303 123 1113.

If you have been a victim of a pension scam, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0303 123 2040.

More about your security with ii: 

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The value of your investments may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment product or service, you should seek advice from an authorised financial advisor.