Safety and scams

Beware of scammers! You might get a call out of the blue, ​saying you ​can transfer your Scheme pension to another arrangement with no penalties attached. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Typical warning signs to look out for

  • Promises of early access to your pension (before age 55)
  • 'Guaranteed' returns on investments
  • Offers of free pension reviews and health checks
  • Talk of pension loans or upfront cash
  • ​Advi​ce to transfer your pension savings into small occupational schemes to avoid scrutiny from regulators
The aim is to lure you into an illegal pension transfer. Once the transfer has gone through, it’s too late. You may never see your pension again and could face a large tax bill on top!  

If you are thinking about a transfer out, please speak to an independent financial adviser who is registered with the FCA. Find a list in your area at

​DC options

Have you got DC pension benefits? Your new pension freedoms mean you have more choice over how to take your benefits. But again, scammers are always looking to come up with new ways to trick you.
​Check your options at

If you think you’ve been scammed, call Action Fraud ​on 0300 123 2040.

Think carefully before you transfer your benefits or AVCs to convert into a lump sum.

If you're under 55

  • You can't release or 'cash in'your  pension (unless you are too ill to work or have a protected pension age).
  • You can transfer your pension from one regulated scheme to another.

If you're 55 or older

  • You can use your pension to buy a regular income for the rest of your life (an annuity).
  • You can use your pension to provide a flexible retirement income (drawdown).
  • You can take your pension in cash in stages.
  • You can take the whole pot as cash in one go.
  • It's highly recommended that you speak to an independent financial adviser before making any decisions.