In their own blog, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out some food for thought with regard to the ban on pension cold calling (and the scams which are associated).
Such issues were well publicised in recent months with the ‘Jetski ScamSmart advert’ from the Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warning how your pension could end up funding the lavish lifestyle of someone else.
Key points from TPR’s blog are that “The arrival of the ban should bring clarity for consumers that if the phone rings and the caller asks unsolicited questions about their pension, it is an attempt to steal their savings” (and) “if they are in any doubt whatsoever, they should simply hang up”.
There are other resources to which they refer – fca.org.uk/scamsmart for example will give guidance, warning signs of scams as well as detail on how you can check on the authenticity of schemes.
Where an enquiry raises concerns, contact can be made with Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk
Scammers don’t come with a siren nor do they explain what they are doing is fraudulent. What they offer will seem very logical and feasible but may involve weird and wonderful investments (with very feasible reasons why they are a good idea), moving the funds offshore or potentially needing to set up a business so that a specialist pension can be arranged.
As they say, “Buyer Beware”.
Ultimately, no cold calls should now arise (however there are many who say the ban doesn’t go far enough).
If, however, you unexpectedly receive a call about your pension (or any other investment for that matter), seeking a second opinion whilst also using the above resources should ensure that any traps are unsuccessful and you keep hold of the funds you’ve spent time saving.
Article written by Paul Stocks (@paul_stocks_ifa), Financial Services Director and Independent Financial Adviser