The Insolvency Service has advised individuals who are saving for their retirement to protect their pension pot from investment scammers and negligent trustees.

This warning comes following research from the Service showing that both individuals and businesses have been targeted in recent years by rogue companies. Crooks have been using tactical methods to trick and convince victims to make amendments to their pension arrangements, investing in unregulated schemes, which has parted them from their savings as a result.

It is estimated that almost 3,750 individuals and businesses have been affected by 24 scamming companies since 2015, with £202 million worth of contributions made and each victim losing an average of £91,000 to criminals.

The Insolvency Service has confirmed that they are working closely with the government to continue clamping down on these scammers. Following the shocking stats, the Service has also reassured the public that there are ways that you can protect your money from these rogue companies.

Recommendations:

  • That you seek independent advice if you are approached to make alternations to your pension
  • Be vigilant – If you are called out of the blue, ensure that you take a note of the company’s credentials and confirm them via the FCA’s Financial Services Register
  • Don’t be pressured into making changes to your pension arrangements and be wary of offers of free pension reviews and promised returns that seem too good to be true

The government has recently issued a ban on cold-calling in relation to pensions. John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Pension scammers are the lowest of the low. They rob savers of their hard-earned retirement and devastate lives. We know that cold-calling is the pension scammers’ main tactic, which is why we’ve made them illegal. Therefore if you receive an unwanted call from an unknown caller about your pension, get as much information you can and report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office. I’d also urge all savers to seek independent advice if you’re thinking about making an important financial decision.”

As recommended by The Insolvency Service, if you have any concerns about the security of your savings, rogue companies, or have any other queries regarding your pension, our Financial Planning team are more than happy to assist and put your mind at rest.

Full details of The Insolvency Service announcement can be found here and advice on how to spot a scam can be found here.

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