Your pension is worked out when you leave the Scheme and it is calculated on how long you have been a member and your pensionable pay. This pension is left in the Scheme where it will be revalued each year in line with the cost of living, until it starts to be paid. This type of pension benefit is known as deferred benefits. Up until you retire and your pension is paid you have two options:
- you can choose to leave your benefits in the Scheme, or
- you may be able to transfer your deferred benefits to another pension arrangement.
Don’t let a Scammer enjoy your retirement
Your pension is one of your most valuable assets and now that you have more choices about what you can do with your savings, scams are becoming more common, more sophisticated and harder to identify. You could lose all your pension savings in a moment, so it is important to be alert to false claims.
The scammers have a variety of tricks to catch you out. They may:
- claim that you can access your pension pot before age 55 – sometimes known as ‘pensions liberation’ or ‘pension loans’
- claim that you can take more than 25% of your pension as cash
- approach you out of the blue over the phone, via text message or in person door-to-door
- entice you with promises of tax loopholes or better returns on your savings
- offer a free pension review, health check or try to lure you in with so-called one-off investment opportunities such as overseas property or renewable energy bonds which often don’t exist or are extremely high risk with low returns.
Check the facts before you make an irreversible decision. A lifetime’s savings can be lost in a moment.
What to do if you think you’re being targeted:
- never be rushed or pressured into making a decision
- check the FCA register of regulated companies at https://register.fca.org.uk/ or the FCA warning list
- seek independent financial advice from a FCA regulated firm
- before you sign anything, call MoneyHelper on 0800 011 3797
- if you have already accepted an offer, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report it online at www.ActionFraud.police.uk/
Understand your options by visiting Pension Wise – a service from MoneyHelper or visit http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams to find out more.