Almost One In 10 Pensioners ‘Have Been Targeted By Fraudsters’

  • Pensioners in the South West are most at risk, research shows
  • MetLife highlights the need for independent advice in the run-up to pension freedom

Almost one in 10 pensioners have been targeted by financial fraudsters during their retirement, new research from MetLife* shows.

Its nationwide study among retired people found nine per cent say they have been victims of financial scams or targeted by financial scammers since they stopped work. That rises to 14% among retired people in the South West.

Recent reported frauds involving retired people have ranged from attempting to gain access to bank or savings accounts through so-called vishing scams, where people are tricked into handing over bank details and cards, to selling bogus investment and pension schemes.

MetLife believes the risk of fraud underlines the real need for independent financial advice for people retiring this year as the UK launches pension flexibility enabling all defined contribution pension savers aged 55+ to take their funds as cash subject only to tax rules.

The Association of British Insurers in conjunction with The Pensions Advisory Service** has launched a campaign to help people avoid pension scams including the warning signs and how fraudsters operate.

Dominic Grinstead, Managing Director, MetLife UK, said: “Pension flexibility offers the UK the chance to create a world-leading retirement saving system and to ensure that people have more comfortable retirements.

“Unfortunately it is also providing opportunities for fraudsters who already see retired people as potential targets as shown by the fact that so many have been subjected to scams.

“Independent advice on retirement options can help people become better informed and more able to see through fraudsters.

The table below shows the picture across the country – retired people in the South West are the most likely to have been targeted by fraudsters.


South West 14%
Wales 13%
London 11%
East Midlands 10%
South East 10%
West Midlands 9%
Yorkshire & Humberside 7%
North East 6%
Scotland 5%
Eastern 3%
Average 9%


MetLife has already supported the launch of pension freedom by lowering its minimum initial investment to £30,000*** to enable more customers to benefit from flexibility and certainty ahead of the new rules due in April 2015.  From April 2015 customers will be able to take income when they want in line with planned legislation.