Coronavirus pension scams

Fraudsters exploiting the coronavirus to prey on anxiety and fear of saver

The three main regulatory bodies have joined forces to issue a statement urging investors to remain calm and avoid making ‘rushed’ financial decision in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis

 

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) are concerned the conditions could leave savers vulnerable to scams. They add that decisions made purely in response to the current panic may damage many people’s long-term financial interests.

INCREASE IN SCAMS

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted on all kinds of companies, including those listed on the stock market. As a result, markets have been volatile and are likely to remain so for a while. This can have an impact on pensions, leading to additional worry for savers. It can also lead to an increase in scams, as unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the situation. This is a very worrying time for people. For those on the point of retiring, the impact of the virus on the financial markets – and therefore on pension savings – has been damaging. However, many workplace pension investments are designed to deliver over the long term, with measures in place to reduce the risks faced by investors as they approach retirement.

SAFE IN THE LONG TERM

Pensions remain a safe long-term investment for your retirement, and it’s important to avoid
hasty decisions about cash that’s taken a lifetime to build. Do not transfer your pension into another arrangement now and regret the decision later. If you’re worried about your pension savings, take the time to understand what options you have available. There is no need to rush. Before making any decision about your retirement savings, you should speak to your financial adviser. For those who have a final salary pension, staying in your existing scheme is still likely to be the best long-term arrangement. All savers should be very cautious about making changes at this time. Fraudsters will exploit the coronavirus to prey on anxiety and fear of savers and investors, especially those who may be vulnerable. Anyone who is thinking about transferring their pension should always check who they are dealing with and only use firms authorised by the FCA.

WARNING SIGNS OF SCAMS

Reject all unexpected and unsolicited offers, and get to know the warning signs of scams, like high rates of return which sound too good to be true, so-called special offers or pressure to make a quick decision. Savers need to check with impartial sources of advice and guidance before making big decisions about their finances, especially in the current climate, and not be pressurised into doing something they will later regret

 

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