About pension scams

There are different types of pension scams but essentially a scammer will try and persuade you to invest your money in high risk non-standard investments where you could lose all your pension savings.

If you are under the age of 55 they may try and persuade you to transfer your pension to a scheme that will make these investments for you or even offer you a loan or early access to your pension.

How can I spot a scam?

Common warning signs of a pension scam are:

  • You may be cold called out of the blue, receive a text message or someone may even come to your door offering you a ‘free pension review’;
  • You may receive an email that claims to be from a legitimate company, but the email address doesn’t look quite right. For example: customer.services.reassure@hotmail.co.uk;
  • Cold callers may claim they are ringing on behalf of the government;
  • You may be offered a one off investment opportunity, which may have guaranteed returns of over 8%;
  • A courier may come to your house and get you to sign paperwork to move things quickly;
  • You may be encouraged to move your pension overseas;
  • You could be promised access to your pension, a loan or cash sum even though you are under 55;
  • The adviser who contacts you may claim to be authorised but is not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

What should I do?

The safest thing to do is hang up the phone, don’t reply to the text message or email, or click on any links. You can report anything you think might be a scam to Action Fraud. You can also forward emails to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service at report@phishing.gov.uk.

Above all, before parting with your money you should stop and take a moment to pause, challenge any suspicious motives and protect yourself by staying vigilant.

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Download more information from the FCA and The Pensions Regulator

What is ReAssure doing to protect customers’ money?

To protect the best interests of our customers we may ask to see additional evidence where we are concerned that a pension scam is taking place.

We will not be able to make a transfer if this additional evidence does not assure us that pension fraud is not taking place.

This doesn’t mean you can’t transfer your pension to another pension scheme that is registered with HMRC where we don’t have the same concerns about pension activity. If you’d like to arrange this please contact us.

Where can I go to find out more information?

There are lots of places online you can go to find out more:

FCA: Check the Financial Conduct Authority Scam Smart website for further information: scamsmart.fca.org.uk

Also check the FCA register of companies authorised to advise you: www.fca.org.uk/register

TPR: The Pensions Regulator has a very good website, including information leaflets: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

TPAS: The Pensions Advisory Service offer free guidance on pensions and can be contacted on 0800 011 3797 or at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

Pension Wise: If you are over 55 then speak to Pension Wise, the government’s new website that offers free and impartial guidance on your pension options: www.pensionwise.gov.uk