This briefing paper provides information on how to spot pension scams and aims to answer some of the frequently asked questions on which constituents ask for help with from their MPs. It does not provide legal or financial advice.Jump to full report >>
How big is the pension scam problem?
Aggregate pension savings in Great Britain were worth £4.5 trillion (in the period 2012-14), and for individuals they are often their single largest financial asset. The high value and fact people often do not have to engage with their savings until much later in life (when they can be more vulnerable to scams) makes them an attractive target for fraudsters.
How can you spot a pension scam?
It is not always easy to spot a scam as there are an array of different and often sophisticated techniques being used to part savers from their money. In 2017, pension scam victims were reported to have lost an average of £91,000. Further, only a minority of pension scams are believed to ever get reported.
Citizens Advice has identified four ‘types’ of pension scam to look out for:
Where can I get pensions advice?
You can check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register of regulated and approved advisers here. If you use an adviser that is not approved by the FCA, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong .Further, the FCA lists several public bodies that can help consumers with pensions questions:
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8643
Author: David Hirst