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Pensions industry urged to make pledge to beat scams

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

Firms in the pensions industry are being urged to sign up to a pledge to help protect savers from the devastating impact of scams.

More than £30 million has been reportedly lost to pension scammers since 2017, according to complaints filed with Action Fraud.

The new pledge to help combat such scams has been launched by the Pensions Regulator (TPR), supported by the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG).

They are urging pension providers, trustees and administrators to help protect savers thinking of cashing in their pensions by ensuring they can spot the warning signs of a scam and are informed of any risks when they look to make a transfer.

Those who pledge to combat pension scams will agree to regularly warn members of the risk of scams, encourage those asking to draw down cash to call the Pensions Advisory Service for free impartial guidance, and clearly communicate concerns to customers if high-risk transfers are being made.

They will also agree to report concerns about a suspected scam to the authorities and communicate this to the pension scheme member.

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “Pension scams devastate lives. As the first line of defence for savers, trustees and pension providers have a vital role to play in beating the people behind these despicable crimes.”

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman, said: “I would encourage all pension providers, trustees and administrators to pledge their commitment to this campaign and help do their bit to crack down on pension scams.”

Chair of PSIG, Margaret Snowdon, said: “The pensions industry has a duty to protect its members from the devastating impact of scammers.”

Executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Mark Steward, said: “Pension scammers can destroy a lifetime of saving for a comfortable retirement, so preventing scammers succeeding in the first place is the way to go.”