TPR urges pensions industry to ‘do more’ in tackling pension scams in first podcast

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has called on the pensions industry to “do more” in helping tackle pension scams in the first podcast of its newly launched series, TPR Talks.

In the podcast, TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish, and Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) chair, Margaret Snowdon, discuss why tackling pension scams is so difficult and what more can be done.

“There are lots of different figures around pension scams, and the reason there are so many different ones is that they are being collected in different places,” said Snowdon.

“What we do know is that pension scams are under-reported and not knowing quite the right number for the scale of pension scams does make stopping scamming a little but more difficult.”

She stated that it was “really important” that the industry reports suspected scams to Action Fraud, as getting a clear understanding of the size of the issue and good quality intelligence will “help in how we formulate and what we do about pension scams”.

The range of varying figures on the number of pension scams was “not helpful”, Snowdon added, warning that the scale off the problem could be being underestimated by “as much as 5,000 per cent”.

Parish said that the industry could be “doing more” to combat scams and urged it to be more innovative.

“There are some industries where we have seen some real innovation in tackling scams, and I would like to see the pensions industry put its thinking cap on and come up with some new and innovative ideas to help us in Project Bloom to tackle pension scams,” she stated.

Snowdon agreed, saying that the industry was “in the best place” to deal with pension scams, as it was the “last point” before the money goes into the hands of a scammer.

The possibility of putting both PSIG’s Combating Pension Scams – A Code of Good Practice and Project Bloom on a statutory footing, and how PSIG’s code is set to be simplified and condensed, was also discussed.

Additionally, Parish and Snowdon issued their support for plans by Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, to write to pension firms to ask why they are not sharing scam data.

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