The FCA has issued a warning to consumers over cold calls from firms offering a ‘free pension review’.
The regulator says some firms are claiming to represent the Government in its at-retirement guidance service announced in the Budget.
The FCA says it has evidence that people are being contacted unexpectedly through phone calls, texts and text messages by unauthorised firms.
The firms offer a pension review and encourage consumers to move their pension to ‘get better returns’.
The FCA says the reviews are designed to persuade consumers to move their pension to a self-invested personal pension or a small self-administered scheme.
The pension pot is then typically invested in unregulated investments like overseas property developments, forestry or storage units known as store pods.
FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says: “People should be very wary if they are contacted out of the blue by someone offering a ‘free pension review’.
“Most of the companies offering this ‘service’ are not authorised by us, and we’re concerned that the reviews often end with pension pots placed in higher-risk, unregulated investments.
“If you see or receive offers of ‘free pension reviews’, just ignore them. If you are called out of the blue to discuss your pension, just hang up.”