Resources

Safety and scams

Your pension savings are vital for your retirement. Don’t let a scammer take them.


Each year up to 10 million people receive unsolicited pension offers, with 1 in 10 of these requests coming from fraudsters. Would you know how to spot one?

Scammers may try and contact you in a variety of different ways. These include: emails, cold calls and text messages.

Typical warning signs to watch out for include:

  • Offers of free pension reviews and health checks.
  • Promises that you can cash in your pension before age 55.
  • 'Guaranteed' returns on investments.
  • Talk of pension loans or upfront cash.
  • ​Advi​ce to transfer your pension savings​ overseas to avoid scrutiny from regulators.

A government ban on cold calling regarding pensions came into force in January 2019. Therefore, if you receive any unsolicited marketing calls about your pension, you should hang up.

It’s important to be 100% sure that any transfer you make regarding your pension is secure and legitimate. Once the transfer has gone through, it’s too late. You may never see your pension again and might still face a large tax bill.  

If you’re thinking about a transfer out, please speak to an independent financial adviser (IFA) who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Find a list of IFAs in your area at unbiased.co.uk

If you're under 55, you:

  • can't release or 'cash in'your  pension (unless you are too ill to work or have a protected pension age); and
  • can transfer your pension from one regulated scheme to another.

If you're 55 or older, you

  • can use your pension to buy a regular income for the rest of your life (an annuity);
  • can use your pension to provide a flexible retirement income (drawdown);
  • can take your pension in cash in stages; and
  • can take the whole pot as cash in one go.

Get more help

  • If you think you’ve been scammed, call Action Fraud ​on 0300 123 2040.