Regulators publish guide on pension scam reporting

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Action Fraud have published a guide for reporting pension scams, including detailed red and amber flags for pension transfers.

The red flags include not providing evidence of receiving MoneyHelper guidance, a transfer requested by an unsolicited contact and being offered an incentive to make a transfer.

The amber flags include high-risk or unregulated investments included in the scheme, unclear or complex investment structure, and overseas investment included in the scheme.

The guide has been published in the wake of TPR’s call for a united effort in stopping scams following jail terms being secured against two fraudsters, Alan Barratt and Susan Dalton.

Although Barratt and Dalton were sentenced for crimes that took place between 2012 and 2014, TPR has cautioned that tough prison sentences are not enough to dissuade all scammers.

In a blog, TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish, warned that jail terms alone would not keep savers safe from scammers.

She called for trustees to make use of new powers to block transfers they suspect are scams and to report any suspected scams to the appropriate authorities.

Parish also warned of the wide range of investment scams where scammers may gain access to a saver’s pension pot through the offer of an investment opportunity that could yield a higher return and advised that the regulator needed the industry’s help in ensuring pension savers are made aware of the potential risks from investment scammers.

As well as out and out criminality, high fees and unsuitable advice were also identified by TPR as risks for savers’ money.

Parish advised that concerns about high fees and unsuitable advice were often linked to the increasing transfer requests to international self-invested personal pensions and TPR’s investigations found that those seeking these transfers frequently live overseas with the transfer facilitated by intermediaries and advisers outside the UK.

TPR advised that effective communications are still key to scammers, who remain keen to build up a relationship with their targets and lull their victims into a false sense of security.

The regulator’s intelligence has shown that scammers make use of a variety of methods for establishing and maintaining contact with their victims, including phone, pension review websites, investment comparison websites, email, social media platforms, and advertisements.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

Making pension engagement enjoyable through technology
Laura Blows speaks to Nick Hall, business development director and Chartered Financial Planner at UK-based Wealth Wizards about the opportunities that technology provides for increasing people’s engagement with pensions and increasing their retirement wealth. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

ESG & DC – creating the right tools
In the latest of our series of Pensions Age video interviews Francesca Fabrizi, Editor in Chief of Pensions Age is joined by Manuela Sperandeo, Head of Sustainable Indexing EMEA, BlackRock and Mark Guirey, Executive Director, Asset Owner and Consultant Coverage - MSCI to discuss some key trends of ESG investing among UK pension funds today. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

Savings and finance at retirement
Laura Blows is joined by Claire Felgate, Head of Global Consultant Relations, UK, at BlackRock, to discuss savings and finance at retirement. Please click here for an edited write-up of the video

Global sustainable credit
Laura Blows speaks to Royal London Asset Management senior fund manager, Rachid Semaoune, about global sustainable credit
Global equities and transition investing
Pensions Age editor, Laura Blows speaks to Royal London Asset Management equity investment director, Jonathan Price, about transitioning to sustainable investments within global equities

Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement