Money Alert: Beward of 'free pension reviews'

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The Independent Online

If you are offered a "free pension review" or encouraged to move your pension to "get better returns", ignore it. The City watchdog warns that such approaches are designed to trick you into putting your cash into high-risk investments that will almost certainly leave you out of pocket.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the Financial Conduct Authority, said: "People should be very wary if they are contacted out of the blue. Most of the companies offering this 'service' are not authorised, and we're concerned that the reviews often end with pension pots placed in unregulated investments."

Investing in overseas property developments, forestry or "store pods" can be high risk. Returns can be unreliable, the investments can be difficult to sell and you could lose everything you invested, significantly reducing how much you will have to live on in retirement.

"If you are called out of the blue to discuss your pension, just hang up," advised Ms McDermott. "Your pension is far too important to be put in the hands of a cold-caller."

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