Nearly one-third of Britons at risk of falling for pension scams

Millions of Britons are unable to spot even the most obvious pension scams, according to new research that calls for stronger checks to help people avoid them. The study from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) found that 29% of the 2,000 people surveyed, equating to 14.8 million UK adults, were unable to spot even the most obvious scams.

Respondents were asked to identify the most likely pension scam from a list of one-line scenarios. These included “when you receive advice on how to invest your pension and you end up losing money” and “when you are contacted by someone who is trying to get you to transfer your pension to an investment.”

Four-fifths (79%) of respondents agreed there should be stricter rules and checks to ensure that pension pots are secured, while 28% felt these checks are unnecessary because people should be able to access their own money.


“[The] research shows that consumers struggle to identify pension scams and are keen to see stronger checks,” said James Walsh, Policy Lead for Engagement, EU and Regulation at the PLSA. “The Government’s recent commitment to tabling an amendment to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill to introduce a ban on pension cold-calling is a step in the right direction.

“However, pension scams come in all shapes and sizes as scammers become increasingly sophisticated.”

As our Independent Financial Adviser James Davis explained in a recent article, “it could happen to almost anybody”. It is therefore vital that you are aware of how to keep safe and protect your savings. You can read James’ advice on how to do so here.



The PLSA is a national association with a 90-year history of helping pension professionals run better pension schemes. Its members include more than 1,300 pension schemes with 20 million members and £1 trillion in assets.