View more on these topics

How employees could avoid losing their pension to scams and fraudsters

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has recently launched a new campaign warning people about the threat of pension scams. In light of this, WEALTH at work, a leading provider of financial education in the workplace, supported by guidance and advice, shares their top tips on how employees could avoid losing their pension to scams and fraudsters.

Scams don’t look like scams – Scams look and sound legitimate by having very professional looking websites and literature which is why employees can easily be deceived. Whichever option employees take for their pension income, they must check before committing to anything that the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – If an investment offers the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s likely to be a scam and there is little that can be done for employees who fall for it.

Scammers will do their homework – Legitimate investment companies are very unlikely to cold call. Those who run pension scams are clever and may have been able to get hold of some of your employees’ personal details; not just about them, but their local area and interests. Employees need to be aware so as to not let scammers’ knowledge and friendliness take them off guard and allow them to be conned.

The right decision takes time – Genuine advisers will never rush clients to make a decision. Anything that is advertised as a limited time offer is likely to be a scam. Always check with the FCA.

Know the basic facts first – Pensions can normally only be accessed at the age of 55, with the exception of seriously ill health. In normal circumstances, if a company promises to release pensions early they are lying, and it is a scam. Employees must know the facts to avoid fraudsters.

Check it out – Employees must know where they can go if they are unsure about anything they have been offered; their employer if it relates to their workplace pension, or The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) or Pension Wise for any other kind of pension.

Help stop the scams – If an employee thinks they have been or are being scammed, they should contact TPAS immediately. Not only may they be able to help the employee involved, but they will be able to help others from falling for the same scam.

Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, said: “The crucial thing to remember is that scams don’t look like scams. In our financial education seminars we show adverts from organisations that are ‘too good to be true’ to prove how hard they can be to spot. The rule is, whatever investment employees are planning to make, they should check out the company with the FCA first. If the FCA hasn’t heard of them, employees will have no place to go if they turn out to be fraudsters.”

He added: “Employees need to understand that taking regulated advice and getting the additional consumer protection it offers should not be underestimated.”

For more details, visit the FCA’s ScamSmart website, which includes a warning list of companies operating without authorisation or running scams



Mervyn King: Get ready for another financial crisis

Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King warns the world is on the brink of another financial crash because regulators did not properly handle the last crisis. The Telegraph reports that King says since the last crash bankers and regulators have “colluded in a self-defeating spiral of complexity” despite governments and regulators being very active. […]


MAS urged to ditch ‘unnecessary’ lobbying and focus on cost-cutting

The Money Advice Service is under pressure to ditch “unnecessary” lobbying activity as part of a drive to cut costs and reduce advisers’ levy bills. In its response to MAS’ consultation on its 2016/17 business plan, Apfa attacks the organisation’s proposal to measure its success in meeting its objectives through “demonstration of influence in regulatory, […]


Royal London swoops for Axa UK protection arm

Royal London is finalising a bid for Axa Wealth’s protection business, Money Marketing understands. The mutual is believed to be in second round talks with the insurer, along with several other potential buyers, in a deal insiders estimate at £40m. In August 2015 Money Marketing revealed the French-owned wealth manager was up for sale. Royal […]


Chris Hannant: Time to ban claims firms from financial services

The Government is finally cottoning on to what the rest of us have known for some time: claims firms provide no useful purpose other than helping themselves. The Ministry of Justice has just published proposals that will tighten up the rules under which they operate. But while this is very welcome, it does not go […]


Royal London poaches HSBC wholesale chief Phil Reid

Royal London Asset Management has appointed Phil Reid as head of wholesale where he will also be responsible for growing the firm’s advisory proposition. Reid joins from HSBC Global Asset Management where he was also head of UK wholesale. Prior to that he was sales director at Close Asset Management and held roles at the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm