Pensions industry split on impact of new anti-scam transfer regs

Industry professionals are split on the potential impact of new statutory transfer regulations, according to analysis from Sackers, with 47 per cent still waiting to see what the reality will be for both members and schemes.

In contrast, 49 per cent of pension professionals believe that the new regulations will help reduce the risk of pension scams, as intended.

Sackers partner, James Bingham, suggested that the results "aren't entirely surprising", explaining that "as is often the case with new regulations that are rushed in, as these were, there are grey areas that are likely to give rise to increased confusion, conflict, and claims”.

In particular, Bingham highlighted the subjective judgements that trustees and administrators will have to make to assess the red and amber flags as "one of the most significant challenges".

“These decisions will not always be straightforward, and the disconnect between the general guidance and prescriptive regulations has the potential to make them more challenging," he explained.

"Add in the possibility of member dissatisfaction due to delays, requests for evidence and referrals to Money Helper, and claims companies have their perfect storm."

However, Bingham suggested that there are steps trustees can take to help in the long term, noting that 67 per cent of respondents are already operating a ‘clean list’ of receiving schemes, which can help accelerate the process and mitigate complaints.

"Managing member expectations through carefully crafted communications and accurately recording and evidencing every decision is critical," he continued.

"It’s clear that the onus for the implementation of the new transfer regulations is very much on trustee shoulders but good decisions and updates to processes will help them navigate the new regime.”

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