Pensioners lose decades of savings in 24 hours

New analysis out of the UK has found that the average amount pension scam victims lost in 2018 amounts to 22 years of savings.

As part of a campaign called ScamSmart, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator have revealed £82,000 (AU$154,202) is the average amount victims of pension scams lost in 2018.

It would take an ordinary working saver 22 years to amass that amount, according to the FCA.

Despite the significant cost of scams, 24% of people surveyed admitted to deciding on a pension offer within less than 24 hours.

One of the main warning signs of a scam is someone offering pension advice out of the blue, the FCA said.

About 63% of consumers said they were confident to make decisions about their pensions, while 63% also said they would trust someone offering pension advice out of the blue.

Interestingly, the FCA's research found the more highly educated a person was the more likely they were to fall for pension scams.

Those with university degrees were 40% more likely to accept a free pension review and 21% more likely to take up an offer to access their pension pot early.

FCA executive director of enforcement Mark Steward said:  "We know many people have big plans for their retirement, whether it's seeing new places, learning new skills or helping their families out financially. Pension scammers destroy those dreams, often forever."

"So be ScamSmart. Reject unsolicited approaches offering 'help' with your pension and get advice from an FCA authorised firm before making big changes to your pension fund. Make sure your lifetime savings stay yours."

A ban on cold calling in relation to pension offers came into effect in the UK this year, with penalties of up to £500,000 applicable to those who engage in this conduct.

Read more: FCAScamSmartUK Financial Conduct AuthorityMark StewardThe Pensions Regulator
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