"Pension scammers ruin lives, stealing away decades’ of savings with professional-looking websites, ‘expert’ advice and an easy manner making it tough to spot the fraud."
It takes 22 years for a typical saver to build a pension pot of £82,000 - the average amount lost to scams in 2018, research from the FCA and The Pensions Regulator shows.
Despite the risks, 24% of those surveyed by the regulators are at risk of falling victim to a scam and losing their entire pension pot, admitting to taking 24 hours or less to decide on a pension offer.
Despite nearly two-thirds (63%) saying they are confident making decisions about their pension, the same proportion (63%) would trust someone offering pensions advice out of the blue – one of the main warning signs of a scam.
Further still, the more highly educated the person, the more likely they are to fall for a pension scam. Those with a university degree are 40% more likely to accept a free pension review from a company they’ve not dealt with before, and 21% more likely to take up the offer of early access to their pension pot.
Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, commented: "Pension scammers ruin lives, stealing away decades’ of savings with professional-looking websites, ‘expert’ advice and an easy manner making it tough to spot the fraud."
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "We know many people have big plans for their retirement, whether it’s seeing new places, learning new skills or helping their families out financially. Pension scammers destroy those dreams, often forever. So be ScamSmart. Reject unsolicited approaches offering ‘help’ with your pension and get advice from an FCA authorised firm before making big changes to your pension fund."