Financial watchdogs are urging investors not to panic over yo-yo markets during the coronavirus outbreak.
And most of all, they say beware of fraudsters peddling scams that could undermine long term pension saving.
The best way to react to volatile share prices is not make any rash decisions and to take reputable financial advice from a professional, says The Pension Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Savers can also find free guides on the government’s Pensions Advisory Service web site.
Charles Counsell, TPR’s Chief Executive, said: “Pensions remain a safe long-term investment for your retirement and it’s important to avoid hasty decisions about cash that’s taken a lifetime to build.
Don’t panic over market volatility
“We urge you not to transfer your pension into another arrangement now and regret the decision later. If you’re worried about your pension savings, take the time to understand what options you have available. There is no need to rush.
“For those who have a final salary pension, staying in your existing scheme is still likely to be the best long-term arrangement. All savers should be very cautious about making changes at this time.
“More than ever before, you should visit The Pensions Advisory Service website for impartial guidance before making any decision about your retirement or get financial advice from an FCA-authorised financial adviser.”
The FCA also posted a scam alert.
Pension scam alert
Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said: “Fraudsters will exploit the coronavirus to prey on anxiety and fear of savers and investors, especially those who may be vulnerable. That’s why we’re urging anyone who is thinking about transferring their pension to check who they are dealing with and only use firms authorised by the FCA.
“Reject all unexpected and unsolicited offers; get to know the warning signs of scams, like high rates of return which sound too good to be true, so-called special offers or pressure to make a quick decision and check our tips and advice on our ScamSmart website.”
The TPR has already issued guidance to pension providers to put off valuing pension funds for transfers for three months due to uncertainty in the markets due to coronavirus.