We are aware that people are being contacted unexpectedly and offered a ‘free pension review’. This could be a phone call, an email, text message or an offer in an online advert.
Most of the companies making these offers are not authorised by us, yet often falsely claim they are acting on our behalf.
Some callers also claim to represent the Government’s new, free and impartial guidance service Pension Wise, set up to help individuals understand the retirement options available to them from the age of 55. The Pension Wise service will not cold call you.
If you get cold-called, the safest thing to do is to hang up, as chances are the investment is very risky or a scam. If you get these offers via email, text or online adverts, it’s best to simply ignore them.
‘Free reviews’ offered out of the blue are designed to persuade you to move money saved in your existing pension pot to a high-risk scheme.
Your pension pot is then typically invested in unusual investments such as overseas property, forestry, storage units, care homes, biofuels or businesses you may not be familiar with. You may be promised guaranteed returns and/or a cash sum from your pension to tempt you to take up these offers.
Professional financial advisers offering advice that is impartial and in your best interests are very unlikely to cold call you offering their services. Professional advice on pensions is not free.
Always check that anyone offering you advice or other financial services is authorised by us and permitted to give advice on pensions: if they are, their name will appear on our Register. Find out more about searching the Financial Services Register.
If you have already moved your pension pot and have concerns, contact any authorised firms that were involved. The Ombudsman might be able to help if you cannot get the matter resolved with those firms.
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