Guest comment: The industry’s role in preventing scams

Tough prison sentences alone aren’t enough to dissuade all scammers and secure savers’ pension pots.

The sentencing of Alan Barratt and Susan Dalton after they admitted charges of fraud by abuse of position arising from their roles as pension scheme trustees highlights our commitment to pursue scammers and protect savers.

Dalton and Barratt’s crimes took place between 2012 and 2014, but there’s much we can do to keep savers safe from scams now. That’s where we need the pension industry’s help.

First, we need trustees to make use of new powers to block transfers they suspect are scams and second, to report any suspected scams.

Our recognition of the potential power industry holds in stopping scams is why we launched our Pledge to Combat Pension Scams campaign.

I encourage everyone in the industry to get to know the warning signs of a pension scam.

They should regularly warn members about the risk of scams. And we want to see trustees of defined contribution schemes following our guidance on meeting new duties to offer to book Pension Wise appointments for members.

Importantly, schemes should report concerns about scams to the authorities. To help ensure that this can be done effectively we and our partners have published a guide to reporting pension scams.

The pension industry is best placed to recognise signs of a scam and has the power to act. I urge everyone in the industry not to sit on suspicions but help protect savers by reporting concerns.

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