Staying safe from pension scams

01 June 2022

The last two years have seen an increase in pension scam activity, with scammers looking to take advantage of people’s fears and uncertainties during the Covid-19 pandemic by making false promises with unrealistic guarantees.

We don’t want you to be caught out. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:

  • Know who you’re talking to. Genuine organisations won’t contact you out of the blue. And even if you’ve approached an adviser directly, you should still check their credentials. You can use the IFA register at to check that they are registered. You can also confirm that an individual adviser definitely works for the company they say they’re part of by checking the details on the register to confirm.
  • Know your pension. Take time to understand your pension options and the associated rules. Pensions aren’t usually accessible until you’re 55 (set to increase to 57 from 2028), but a common scam involves fraudsters claiming they can help you access your benefits earlier. Heavy tax charges can apply if you claim your pension earlier than the minimum retirement age, so make sure you understand the options available at retirement and familiarise yourself with the rules that HMRC sets out.
  • Take your time. Don’t feel rushed or pressured into making a decision. Read and digest all the information you’re given and take the time to speak to a regulated financial adviser.

You can find out more information by going to the ScamSmart website – an FCA-regulated hub for information on how to avoid investment and pension scams. Visit for more information.

You can report a scam to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or by using the reporting form at