Beware the scams now that YOU take responsibility for pensions:
[Cathryn: Hi you’re speaking to Cathryn at The Pensions Advisory Service how can I help you?
Geoff: Hi, I was called out of the blue from a company who did a pension review for me, I think I might have got a bit carried away. I can’t find out where my money is.
(This is based on a true story)
Cathryn: And you haven’t been able to contact them?
Geoff: No, the phone number seems to be disconnected. That’s all the money I had for my retirement. It’s over a hundred grand. I don’t know what I’m going to do without it.
Cathryn: I’m really sorry but it sounds like you might have lost all that money.]
This is the script from a warning video by Pensions Advisory Service here: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/…/dangers-of-pension…
Your responsibility to provide pensions for any and all staff under the government’s Auto Enrolment scheme, means you carry a huge burden when selecting what to do with everyone’s hard-earned cash… call your accountant, it’s better to be safe than so dreadfully sorry.
If you are going it alone… at least note these 10 steps to protect against pension fraud:
1. Be wary of cold calls and unsolicited texts or emails
-Scammers will often claim they’re from Pension Wise or other government-backed bodies. These organisations would never phone or text to offer a pension review.
2. Check everything for yourself
-People have fallen for scams because they’d been ‘recommended by a friend’. Do your homework, even if you consider yourself to be financially savvy – false confidence can lead to getting stung.
3. Make sure your adviser is on the Financial Conduct Authority approved register
-Pensions scammers may pose as financial advisers. Check to make sure yours is registered on the FCA website.
4. Check the FCA’s list of known scams
-Visit the FCA’s scamsmart to see if the deal you’re being offered is a known scam.
5. Steer clear of overseas investment deals
-Well-known scam types include unregulated investment in a hotel, vineyard or other overseas opportunities, and where your money is all in one place – and therefore more at risk.
6. Don’t fall for ‘guaranteed’ returns or professional looking websites or brochures
-You can never guarantee returns on an investment, and anyone can create a smart website or brochure these days. Question everything, however credible it sounds or looks.
7. Don’t be rushed into a decision
-Scammers will try to pressure you with ‘time limited offers’ or send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents. Take your time to make all the checks you need – even if this means turning down an ‘amazing’ deal.
8. If you’re aged 50 or over and have a DC pension, talk to Pension Wise
-Pension Wise is there to help you investigate your retirement options. Visit the Pension Wise website for more information (and to check what kind of pension you have). https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/
9. Ask The Pensions Advisory Service for help if you have doubts
-You can call them on 0300 123 1047 or visit the TPAS website for free pensions advice and information.
10. Contact your provider and call Action Fraud if you’ve already signed and think you’ve been scammed
-If you’ve already signed something you’re now unsure about, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and contact your pension provider immediately. They may be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet.