PSIG launches version 2.2 of scams code

The Pensions Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has announced the publication of version 2.2 of its Code of Good Practice on Combating Pension Scams.

The organisation said the updates to the latest version of the code, which is effective from 1st April 2021, reflected recent regulatory and legislative changes as well as the evolving nature of pension scams, while further changes were made to improve usability.

Key changes relate to the introduction of a new letter from The Pensions Regulator for members considering transferring from a defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution scheme, calls for trustees to encourage the use of Pension Wise or take regulated advice, and warnings about complex investment structures.

A comprehensive list of the changes made is available from PSIG, along with the framework document, practitioner guide, resources pack and technical guide.

PSIG chair, Margaret Snowdon said: “This version of the code brings scams prevention and developments up to date, we also expect to produce a further update later in the year when regulations supporting the Pension Schemes Act 2021.

“Alongside the new code, we include a summary of changes since the last version in June 2019, so that readers can clearly see how the world of scams is evolving.”

Prior to its publication, the new version was reviewed by a wide group of industry bodies and organisations to ensure broad acceptance and encourage widespread adoption of its principles.

Snowdon added: “We believe this code is an important part of the solution to pension scams and the result of a lot of hard work by people and organisations who volunteered their valuable time and energy to review and comment on drafts. I am also grateful once again for the Minister for Pension’s support and foreword.”

Commenting on the launch of the updated code, DLA Piper partner and PSIG member, Matthew Swynnerton, said: “These are welcome changes and they serve to increase awareness in the industry and provide a clearer understanding of the code.

The updated code streamlines the existing guidance in this complex and fast-changing area and we trust will serve as an invaluable tool for practitioners and trustees alike.

"The guidance provided by the updated code goes hand in hand with new protections afforded by the new Pension Schemes Act 2021, under which it is anticipated that additional statutory transfer right restrictions will be introduced later this year to give trustees greater power to prevent transfers to suspected scam vehicles.”

PSIG was established in 2014 to help protect pension scheme members from scams, developing and launching the first Code of Good Practice for use by all in the industry in 2015, before publishing Version 2.0 on 22 June 2018 and Version 2.1 on 10 June 2019.

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