Online pension scam guidance tool launched
A good pension can change your life, providing reassurance and happiness for many years into retirement. Like anything valuable, your pension is attractive to others and this has resulted in pensions becoming a prime target for scammers, who, at best, offer inappropriate, high risk and often questionable investments and, at worse, steal your money. With pension scams hitting the headlines, we’ve seen a promising increase in consumer awareness, with more of our customers calling our service to ‘check’ before proceeding.
We are continuously looking to see how we can improve scam identification and provide support to potential victims. We record what our customers are telling us to identify any changes to scams. We are finding that some consumers are being approached with clear examples of scams but other “offers” are more complex and harder for customers to identify it as a scam. For consumers who transfer their pension money into a scam vehicle, it is very clear that the likelihood of them recovering their funds will be incredibly unlikely.
We felt that we could do more by offering a self-service option giving information and guidance to those who may initially be too worried or embarrassed to verbalise their concerns. We also want to provide industry with a tool to which they can direct their savers, helping to disrupt the scammers throughout the process but especially at the point of a questionable transfer. Timely identification and fast action is critical for protecting people’s pensions.
Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive of the Pension Advisory Service said “We are seeing positive signs that consumers are now more aware of pension scams, which is great news, but we must continue to offer consumers opportunities to learn about scams; how they work, the consequences and understand how they can best protect their pension savings. The tool we have launched today will go a way to helping those who may initially be too embarrassed or worried to ask for help. It will allow them to self-serve and be given next steps depending on their position, which includes talking to us. We want to give savers every opportunity to disrupt a potential scam and protect their pension from unscrupulous scammers. With the support of Project Bloom and other key organisations, we hope that even more people will be able to access our tool and develop the knowledge and confidence in spotting scams and ultimately protecting their financial future.”
Lesley Titcomb, Chief Executive at The Pensions Regulator, said: “Scammers destroy lives so we welcome the launch by TPAS of the new online guidance tool to further help people protect their retirement savings. We won’t let up in the fight against scammers and we continue to lead a taskforce of government, regulators, financial services bodies and criminal justice agencies (Project Bloom) to disrupt and prevent scams.”
You can use the new tool here. For more information about pension scams and where to go next, please visit The Pension Regulator’s dedicated website or contact our team direct for immediate help and guidance.