14 per cent of staff over 55 are targets of pension scams

More than one in ten (14%) respondents aged 55 and over have been targeted by pension fraudsters since the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015, according to research by employment benefits consultant Portus Consulting.


Its survey of 1,088 workers over the age of 50, including 789 employees over the age of 55, also found that nearly half (48%) of those who suspect fraud have been approached more than once.

The study also found:

  • Of the respondents aged 55 and over who believe they have been approached as part of a pension scam, 35% have been targeted up to five times and 13% have been approached more than five times.
  • Just 12% of those who have been approached have alerted the authorities.
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents were offered so-called free pension reviews as part of a scam, while 27% were offered high rates of return from suspect investments.
  • Just under a quarter (24%) of respondents were targeted by scams that offer other products to invest pension savings in without any explanation of what these products are.
  • A third (33%) of respondents aged 55 and over who have been the target of pension scams were contacted by phone, 36% were approached by email and 28% through the post.

Steve Watson, commercial director at Portus Consulting, said: ”The pension freedoms are to be welcomed because they give people greater control over how they use their own money.

”However, more needs to be done to educate people about pension scammers and also capture and deter these criminals. Employers can also play a role here through their employee benefits programmes.

“These figures could be just the tip of the iceberg because our research shows that many people don’t report the fact that they have been targeted.”