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Working Together to Stop Pension Scams

With the help of the London Fraud Forum, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) brought together key players from the wider financial and business community to share concerns regarding the challenge of pension scams.

At the London Fraud Forum event hosted by Sackers LLP, The Pensions Regulator and TPAS highlighted the nature of pension scams and the threat that they pose to people today within an environment where scammers portray an enticing and believable narrative that consumers can all too easily fall for.

Speaking from The Pensions Regulator, Mike Broomfield, Head of Intelligence said:

“The simple truth is that those who are persuaded or tricked into transferring their pension fund to a risky or worthless investment will lose all or at least the majority of their money – the money they are banking on to support them through their retirement. They could even find themselves with a huge tax bill from HMRC.

As individuals we can all play our part by helping to protect ourselves and the more vulnerable from predators. But it is only through all of us working together that we can tackle fraud at the root, to weed out and punish those who prey on people’s pensions.”

Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive of TPAS stated that:

“Scammers have the best sales tactics you will ever encounter; they know what to say and when to say it to make their offerings realistic and desirable.

Anyone can fall victim to scams and for pension savers, most won’t know that they’ve fallen victim until a number of years have passed and after the transaction has taken place. On average it takes 3 to 4 years for consumers to realise that they’ve likely lost some or all of their later life savings. It is therefore vital for consumers to seek out independent and impartial guidance, checking any ‘too good to be true’ before proceeding.

We will continue to work closely with Project Bloom partners to ensure that vital consumer awareness of pension scams continues to be encouraged and supported by TPAS.”

Robert Brooker, Chairman, London Fraud Forum added:

The London Fraud Forum (LFF) are really grateful for the opportunity of working with TPAS and The Pensions Regulator to highlight to LFF members and the wider Fraud community the severity of pension scams, whereby, individuals have worked extremely hard for many years and are looking forward to their retirement and the comfort of knowing that their pension will secure their futures financially, only to have these professional fraudsters tear it away from themand the impact that has on the individual and their families, not only financially but health wise as well.

TPAS and The Pensions Regulator in conjunction with Project Bloom partners, are working very hard on raising awareness of the scams and how to prevent them and the LFF are delighted to have helped share those messages.”

Call to action:

  • Seeking guidance from reputable, independent and impartial guidance or regulated financial advice needs to be the social norm for people thinking about embarking on these important and high stake decisions.
  • All sectors need to support consumer protection messages, with clear customer journeys that ensure people get the right support and the right times.
  • The importance of intelligence sharing across agencies to highlight the ongoing plight and risk faced by consumers today is essential to be aid disruption and prevention of pension scams.

To find out more about pension scams and how The Pensions Advisory Service can help support consumers both before, during and post scam activity, please visit our dedicated pages here and you can also access our dedicated online tool to help spot and stop a scam here.

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