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News Update: COVID-19 Pension Scams – Don’t Fall Prey!

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that during times of crisis, there are always people who will try to take advantage of the vulnerable. In response to those trying to capitalise on the fear and anxiety of those during the pandemic, regulatory bodies have stepped up to alert consumers about what to watch for and how to avoid falling prey to scams.


This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.


The Pensions Regulator (TPR), The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Money and Pensions Services (MaPS) have advised against making any rash decision during the pandemic in order to prevent long-term financial damage.


Remember, you are in it for the long haul

One of the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the decline in the stock market, which of course has a knock-on effect on investments, including pensions. Many people are worried about the effect that a volatile market will have on their savings and investments. But it’s important to remember that pensions are designed for the long haul and as part of a retirement plan. So, rash decisions aren’t wise.


Be on the lookout

It’s best not to consider any offers you haven’t explicitly searched for yourself. Scammers know what they’re doing — the offers they push are meant to look like ideal options. But if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

Scammers aim to strip you of your pension funds and will either outright steal your money, invest it in high-risk investments, or in conventional products with complicated fee structures and high charges.


More signs to watch for:

  • Free pension reviews
  • Higher returns – guarantees they can get you better returns on your pension savings
  • Help to release cash from your pension even though you’re under 55
  • High-pressure sales tactics – such as ‘time-limited offers’
  • Arrangements where there are several parties involved (some of which may be based overseas) all taking a fee, which means the total amount deducted from your pension is significant
  • Long-term pension investments, which means it could be several years before you realise something is wrong.


Partner with a pro

It’s not wise to panic and shift your strategy hastily. If you are thinking about switching your pension, be sure to check that whoever you’re planning to trust with your money is a legitimate firm, authorised by the FCA.

Always seek professional guidance so you can be confident that you know what your options are.

If you have any concerns about potential scams or about the state of your pension during the pandemic, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to schedule a time to speak with us.


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