Pension scams

What is a scam? 

Keeping your hard-earned retirement savings safe is important to us. After all, you'll have spent years contributing to them and they're likely to be one of your most valuable assets.

It can sometimes be difficult to spot a scam - they come in lots of different formats; unsolicited phone calls, emails and letters, as well as cold callers to your home and can include:

  • Liberation scams, that offer you access to your pension before the age of 55. 
  • Investment scams, that offer unrealistic returns on your investments or tempt you with high risk or unregulated investments.
  • Review scams, that offer a free review of your pension savings and investment returns.
  • Advice scams, that offer free advice with the aim of finding out personal information or getting the authority to transfer a pension or to act as a lead for other pensions scams.
The following video is about Pension scams – knowledge is empowering and has a transcript (see below).
View video transcript

Our handy guide (PDF - 138kb) provides you with more information on how you can protect yourself from scams, or you can take a look at our top scam savvy tips to help you.

Trust your instincts 

Be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails and letters as well as cold callers to your home. This could be part of a scam.

Take your time

You should never feel rushed into making an investment decision. Read any documents you receive thoroughly and always get advice from a regulated financial adviser. 

Know your rights 

Make sure you understand your pension plan. This could help you avoid common scams, like offers to access your money early.

Do your research 

If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and research the named individual and/or company before taking the next step.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed? 

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, you can:

Find out more 


The Financial Conduct Authority provides information to help you avoid investment and pensions scams. 

Get Safe Online 

The Government sponsored, Get Safe Online can give you free expert advice on protecting yourself, your devices and more.

National Cyber Security Centre 

The National Cyber Security Centre are the UK’s independent authority on cyber security.


Offering independent advice, Which? have been championing consumer rights since 1957.

We're committed to protecting our customers from scammers and will continue to look at ways to provide educational information to help you understand the risks and how best to avoid scams. The Pension Regulator asked trustees, providers and administrators to pledge to do all they can to protect customers and follow the principles of the Pension Scams Industry Group Code of Good Practice. We've signed up to this pledge as part of our commitment to stopping scammers.

Keeping you safe

Understand more about how to protect your retirement savings as well as some handy online security tips.