At a time when savers have more flexibility than ever over their pensions, it is inevitable that scurrilous criminals are plotting to steal people’s retirement pots.
Fortunately, new regulations came into force on 30 November 2021 which aim to tackle these pension scams.
The not so easy to say, Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Conditions for Transfers) Regulations 2021 now provide additional powers for pension providers to block pension transfers which have the hallmarks of fraud.
Thankfully this should mean an extra layer of protection for savers against fraudsters seeking to cheat them out of their hard-earned retirement funds.
Fraudsters often use ‘too good to be true’ incentives such as free pension reviews, early access to pensions funds and other time-limited offers to lure people into transferring their pension savings into a scam pension scheme. The new regulations aim to stop these transfers in their tracks where there are tell-tale signs of fraud.
But whilst the new regulations are extremely welcome, avoiding scams in the first place is better.
Some tips on spotting and avoiding scams are:
- Reject any unexpected pension offers
- Don’t allow yourself to be rushed or pressured into making a decision
- Get impartial advice where possible
- Research the company you are dealing with to make sure they are legitimate. You can use the FCA’s ScamSmart website to see whether the company is on their warning list. You can also check if they are on the Financial Services Register online or by calling 0800 111 6768.
Please stay vigilant and remember the age old adage that if something looks too good to be true, it most probably is.
If you want to talk to someone or have concerns that you have received information which may be fraudulent then please visit the ScamStart website.