Deciding whether to transfer out of the LGPS (NI) is a serious financial decision. Your pension with us is a guaranteed income at retirement. If you transfer your defined benefit pension to another type of scheme you will lose this guarantee, along with other Scheme benefits such as annual inflationary pension increases and guaranteed dependants’ benefits.
NILGOSC is committed to ensuring that all scheme members hold on to their hard-earned pension. To see our pledge to combat pension scams, please visit Our pledge to combat pension scams.
Your LGPS (NI) pension is one of the most valuable assets you own
Pension scammers will do whatever it takes to get their hands on your savings and enjoy your retirement. Sadly, the last decade has seen an increase in pension companies being formed to defraud the public of their pension savings, by encouraging them to transfer their pension saving to unsuitable or bogus schemes.
According to the Pensions Scams Industry Group (PSIG) victims of pensions scams report receiving cold or unsolicited calls, offers of free pension reviews, offers of upfront cash and promises of high rates of returns on investments, as warning signs of a scam. You may even be introduced to these companies by a friend or family member who is also unknowingly being scammed. You should be very wary of a scheme offering to help you release cash from your pension before you’re 55. This is known as pension liberation and is almost certainly a scam which will result you having to pay a tax bill of 55% plus other charges, and you could lose your entire pension pot. Once you’ve transferred your money into a scam, it’s too late.
How can I protect myself from pension scammers?
Reject Unexpected Offers – chances are it’s high risk or a scam. Should you receive a cold call regarding your pension, the safest thing to do is hang up – this is illegal and probably a scam. If you have been offered a free pension review, please be very cautious. Professional advice on pensions is not free. A free offer from a company you have not dealt with before is probably a scam.
Check who you are dealing with – Is the individual or company offering you advice on transferring your pension, qualified to do so? You can confirm this by checking the FCA Register (www.register.fca.org.uk) and calling the Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 to check the firm is permitted to give pension advice. There are many different areas of registration and its important the advice you receive is specifically on pension transfers. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision – This is another red flag of a possible scam. Take your time and make sure you are happy. This will be time well spent. If you make the wrong decision and transfer your pension to a scam scheme your monies are unlikely to be recovered. Better to make sure you are making the right decision at the outset.
Get impartial advice – You have worked hard to build up your pension savings, so a little extra time spent to make sure any transfer is in your best interest is very worthwhile.