Sadly pension savers in the UK are being increasingly targeted by scammers. Pension scams can be sophisticated and difficult to tell apart from the real thing. For specific guidance on scams please visit https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams.
Scammers usually contact people out of the blue, if you are contacted by anyone and you haven't asked them to get in touch, then that is almost certainly a scam. Cold calling about pensions is illegal in the UK.
Scammers will often contact savers offering free reviews, returns that are guaranteed or higher than you would expect, the ability to release your pension as cash, or different and unusual investments. If you are the victim of a scam you will lose all of your savings and not be able to get them back. You will also face a tax bill of up to 55% of the money you have lost.
If you want to check whether any Adviser or company that you are dealing with is authorised to provide that service, check the FCA Register
If you believe you may already have been contacted by a scam report this to the FCA, or to Action Fraud If you are not sure and just want some guidance then you should contact The Pensions Advisory Service.
The Pensions Regulator has published this booklet about scams and how to spot them.
The Money Advice Service has produced this beginner's guide to scams.
Pension Wise is an independent government backed service that provides impartial guidance to Defined Contribution pension savers nearing retirement. This is relevant to you if you are a member of URPS or are in the USS with an Investment Builder account. Pension Wise can be contacted at https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/en
The Pensions Advisory Service also has some useful information and links including a helpline number.
Fri - 9am-4.30pm.
Pensions General Enquiries
+44 (0)118 378 7121