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Don’t fall prey to the pension scammers

We work hard at Future Life Wealth Management to help our clients plan for their retirement. As you know we say, depending on how you plan, your retirement can be the longest holiday you will ever have – or, if you don’t plan, your longest period of unemployment.

So, it worries us to hear that research by The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority shows that millions of people are at risk of falling prey to scammers who are after our pension pots.

The research, which questioned more than 2,000 people aged 45 to 65, revealed that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) would discuss their pension plans with a cold caller. The same number would also be tempted by high risk, exotic opportunities if offered to them, and 17 per cent would be interested in early access to the cash.

The researchers say that they believe 42 per cent of people saving for a pension are at risk of falling for the common tactics used by scammers. That adds up to something like 5 million people!

All this after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed more than £197m was lost to scams in 2018, with two victims alone losing more than £1m each.

Pensions and financial inclusion minister, Guy Opperman, said: “We know we can beat these callous crooks, because the message out there does work. Last year’s pension scams awareness campaign prevented hundreds of people from losing as much as £34m, and I’m backing this year’s efforts to be bigger and better.”

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: “It doesn’t matter the size of your pension pot – scammers are after your savings. Get to know the warning signs, and before making any decision about your pension, be ScamSmart and check you are dealing with an FCA authorised firm.”

The ScamStart website is operated by the FCA and gives advice about avoiding scams. Click here for the ScamSmart website.

For more advice about saving for your retirement, please get in touch with us on 01246 435996