If you are considering investing your government pension with a company, you should be aware of potential scammers and what you can do to avoid them.
Scammers design attractive offers in order to persuade you to to transfer your pension pot or release funds to them. They can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with creditable websites, testimonials and materials which can make it hard to distinguish from the real thing.
Scammers will offer amazing sounding deals but these can result in you losing your entire pension and may also leave you with a huge tax bill. Offers which you should be aware of, often include:
- offering free pension reviews
- offering to invest in unusual and high-risk investments like overseas property, renewable energy bonds, forestry, storage units, or simply stolen outright
- offering higher returns - guarantees they can get you better returns on your pension savings
- offering to help release cash from your pension, even though you're under 55
- using high pressure sales tactics- time limited offers or even sending couriers to your door to wait whilst you sign paperwork
- complicated structures where it isn't clear where your money will end up
- long term pension investment - which mean it could be several years before you realise that something is wrong.
If you suspect a scam you should report it to the FCA by contacting the consumer helpline on: 0800 111 6768 or by using an FCA reporting form . You should also report it to Action Fruad Police on 0300 123 2040.
If you have already agreed to transfer your pension and now suspect a scam, contact your pension provider straight away, they may be able to stop a transfer that hasn't taken place yet.
Visit the Financial Conduct Authority's website for more information at Pension scams | FCA
You should seriously consider seeking financial guidance from legitimate agencies before changing your pension arrangements. Legitimate agencies include:
- The Pensions Advisory Service - they provide free and impartial information and guidance
- Pension Wise - If you're over 50 and have a defined contribution (personal) pension, this government agency can offer pre-booked appointments to talk you through your retirement options
- FCA regulated financial advisors - if you opt for an advisor ensure that they are regulated by the FCA.
If you have a query regarding you Dumfries and Galloway Council pension you can contact:
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Call: 01387 273855