12 Nov 2019
A recent report from The Pensions Regulator has revealed an increasing number on people are being scammed when it comes to pension fraud.
Specifically, the report highlighted that degree educated savers were more at risk of losing their pension to fraudsters than those without qualifications.
Around 14% of people with a degree said that that they would accept a review from a company they did not know.
In contrast, among the 2,000 individuals surveyed, 10% of those without a degree said they would agree to such an approach.
It’s estimated that pension scam victims lost an average of £82,000 last year. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator it would take someone around 22 years to build a pension pot of that size.
Many pension scams begin with an unexpected call, text, email or approach via social media offering a free pension review or the chance to make very attractive returns. Ultimately what happens is that the money is simply stolen or transferred into high risk or inappropriate schemes.
Regardless of whether individuals have a degree or not, fraudsters do not discriminate, but they will tend to target those with larger pension pots.
All independent financial advisers must be specifically qualified and authorised to provide pensions advice. A register of all advisers can be found by visiting the Financial Services Register on the FCA website.
Allan Gardner, Financial Services Director at Aberdein Considine said: “Pension fraud is an extremely serious issue and it can end with people losing their hard earned savings which have been built up over many years.
It’s vital that everyone treats any unsolicited approach with extreme caution, and most importantly they do not release any funds until they are absolutely sure the adviser they are dealing with is qualified and legitimate.
The key is to ask lots of questions, any genuine adviser or firm of advisers will welcome this.”