Picture this; you’ve saved all your life to be financially stable in retirement, working hard towards a dream goal, that someday you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy your later years without the stress or worry of getting up for work every day or paying off that mortgage. Then an opportunity comes knocking that sounds almost too good to be true. You are contacted out of the blue by a firm that is promising a free pension review and you’re subsequently persuaded to move your fund into a new scheme that promises huge returns and a significantly more comfortable – post work – life. Retirement arrives but those attractive returns fail to materialise and it dawns on you that you’ve fallen victim to a pension scam. Rather than see your fund grow, you’ve actually lost either part or all of it.
Unfortunately this is the grim reality for many people who fall victim to such scams every day in the U.K and, according to the FCA and The Pensions Regulator, lose an average of £91,000.
So what can you do to avoid becoming one of these dreadful statistics? We’ve always been a firm believer at PSG SIPP in being smart when it comes to pensions and that’s exactly why we’re putting our full support behind the FCA’s ‘ScamSmart’ campaign, which aims to help consumers avoid pension and investment fraud.
The campaign focuses on what to look out for and what you can do if you are offered or you are considering a new pension or investment opportunity. In such circumstances (and, it might go without saying), it’s always important to remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it often is. So if you receive a proposal from someone representing a firm you do not recognise, here are some key things to remember and what you need to consider:
- Are they included in the FCA Financial Services Register or on the FCA Warning List? We will always advise anyone who is interested in a new SIPP or transferring their existing scheme to one with us that they should seek independent advice from an FCA registered Financial Adviser first. Not only is it important that you know you are dealing with an authorised firm in order to be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme but so you can also be reassured that their products and services are being closely monitored by a financial regulatory body. See our own FCA registration page
- If you’re really unsure, don’t feel pressured into signing or agreeing to anything. The best thing to do is ignore the proposal and if you are suspicious it might be a scam, report it to the FCA Scam Smart website immediately.