• Pension scam

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Not sure what pension you are in?

You can’t access your pension savings before the age of 55 (except in rare cases, such as ill-health). However, there are increasing incidents of people being ‘tricked’ into transferring their pension savings into an arrangement offering earlier access. Once you’ve moved your money into a scam, it’s too late and you could end up losing all of your money and in some cases face a huge tax bill of up to 55%.

Thousands of people have fallen victim to a pension scam and lost all the money they’d saved for later life – there are regulatory measures in place to help prevent scams but scammers are evolving, so it’s best to stay alert to the risks. Make sure you know what to look out for and how to protect your pension savings.
You may see pension scams of this sort being described as:

  • pension loans
  • early pension release
  • pension selling
  • cashing in your pension
  • pension liberation
  • Be on the look-out for:
    being contacted out of the blue via phone, text message or sometimes even approached at your front door
  • the lure of cash upfront
  • a ‘free’ pension review or enticements of a ‘one-off’ investment opportunity
  • paperwork delivered to your door requiring an immediate signature

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

Never be rushed into making a decision and make sure your adviser is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority by checking that they’re on the Financial Services Register.

If you have doubts, the following websites have helpful information to consider:
From the FCA: www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
From The Pensions Regulator: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/pension-scams

If you want to discuss your options with a financial adviser then the FCA’s website has information to help you choose an adviser or you could look at the website www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/getting-help-and-advice/financial-advisers.

© Copyright - Barnett Waddingham
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