Govt and financial bodies publish guide for pension savers

The government, financial bodies and regulators have joined forces to publish a guide for pension savers in response to an increase in enquiries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The seven bodies’ guide seeks to answer some of the most commonly asked questions at this time and hopes to reassure scheme members amid concerns about the impact of the crisis on people’s financial wellbeing.

The bodies involved in its publication are The Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Money and Pensions Service (Maps), the Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Ombudsman.

The guide outlines all of the protections available to pension savers, and directs them where they can go to seek free and impartial guidance.

It also explains what each body's role is and what support they can offer to savers.

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, said that keeping people informed was “vital” and that he welcomed the “coordinated approach" being taken by the various bodies.

“We’re doing whatever it takes to ensure people are supported through these unprecedented times and this guide is a useful addition to the measures pensions bodies have already taken to assist savers, such as TPR’s transfer warnings and reporting easements,” he added.

PPF chief executive, Oliver Morley, continued: “There are over 10 million members of corporate defined benefit schemes across the UK who may not be aware of our role in protecting them should their scheme or sponsoring employer be unable to pay their pensions in the future.

“It’s really important that those saving into any scheme are aware of the measures that are in place to protect them. I’m delighted that we’re coming together with our partners across the industry to reinforce this message and launch this guide today.”

TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell, added he hoped the guide would “stop scammers in their tracks”, while FSCS chief executive, Caroline Rainbird, said that she hoped the guidance would “help people understand that their pensions are protected”.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) also voiced their support for the collaborative guide. Its director of policy and research, Nigel Peaple, noted: "At this time of national crisis, pension trustees want savers to be reassured that while for many people the pandemic will be a cause of heightened anxiety about their finances, their pension need not be a reason to worry.

“Pension savings are well protected, carefully managed and sensibly diversified to be resilient to this kind of scenario.”

The guide, published on the PPF website, can be found here: www.ppf.co.uk/covid-19-pensions

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