Having worked hard for a large part of your life, your pension is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you own when facing retirement age. Unfortunately, there are others out there who recognise this and are now trying to manipulate you into handing it over – welcome to pension scams!
Pension scams are increasing due to the easier ways of accessing your pension pot brought in by George Osborne back in 2016. These scammers usually try and trick you into investing your savings in “high-return” investments, such as overseas property development or new industry start-ups; or they could try and convince you that you can withdraw you pension before you’re 55.
Falling victim to these pension scams can also prove very costly. Once you have transferred your money into a scam, it’s too late. It is possible to lose all your pension money and be hit with a 55% tax bill, as it could be deemed an unauthorised payment.
These criminals are smart, and sometimes, quite convincing. So it is important to know how to detect these scams and how to protect yourself if you’ve been targeted. You can find a lot of guidance on The Pensions Regulator’s website, as well as some great tips on detecting scams on the Pension Wise website.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.