If it sounds too good to be true it is too good to be true

Pension scams are back in the news with revelations that consumers have had millions of pounds stolen from their pension pots in recent weeks. The scams take various forms. In some cases money is simply stolen from your pension fund and transferred to somewhere else never to be seen again while other involve your pension buying high risk assets that are unlikely to ever make you a return, and are more likely to mean that you will never see your money again.

Neither result makes for a healthy retirement so the warning is that you need to be really careful if your phone rings and you are asked if you would like to have someone review your pension for you.

Citizens Advice reckon that more than ten millions unsolicited calls will be made this year and even though the regulators banned these calls earlier this year many experts reckon that the ban will be ignored and many calls will still be made. The calls are likely to start by asking if you would like to review your pension and perhaps take advantage of the opportunity to make more money from your pension than you currently are.

At that point you should just hang up. Regardless of how aggressive they are being or how good they make their options sound the chances are that you will lose money and you really don’t want to get involved.

Pensions are really important for most of us when we get to retirement age and many of us will have spent years as well as tens of thousands of pounds building up the money that is already in our pensions. You don’t want to be taking any unnecessary risks as you approach retirement.

I’ve said this before but if an offer sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.

If you want to review your pension speak to your employer and ask them to put you in touch with their advisers or look for a properly qualified Independent Financial Adviser in your area and ask them to do it for you.

A version of this article appeared in The Daily Record in February 2019.

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