Pension scams - information for pension professionals video transcript
Hello – my name’s Mike Broomfield and I head up the Intelligence team here at the regulator. Today I want to quickly take you through our new scorpion pension scams campaign, and what you as a trustee can do to make sure your members get the best possible protection against scammers.
As you’ll know, your members can now access their retirement savings more flexibly – which means there are more opportunities for scammers to exploit them. This is why we’ve launched the new campaign which includes a short film with a real live scorpion in it to emphasise the danger of these pension predators. We’ve also produced some new materials for you to send out to your members.
Don’t worry if you’ve recently printed out some of the member booklets from our website – the information in them is still correct so they’re not out of date. But if you’ve not done it yet, please go over to our website [www.pension-scams.com], have a read of the materials and send them on.
Alongside our consumer campaign, we’re still working behind the scenes with other regulators, financial services organisations and criminal justice agencies to stop scams where we find them. But we can’t do this alone – we need trustees to do their bit to make members aware of the dangers that they face.
To help with this, we’ve developed a booklet for trustees and other pensions professionals. It’s got a checklist about what to do if a member is asking for a transfer, tips on the due diligence that you should be thinking about, plus some more information about genuine financial advisers and tax-registered pension schemes.
Right now, I’ll quickly take you through the five steps you can take to help your members protect themselves.
The first one is to read the member booklet and share it as widely as possible. It’s got a ten step guide to help people who may never have engaged with their pension before and shows them where to go for help if they’ve got doubts about a deal they’re being offered. The best time to send this out is with their annual benefit statement or retirement pack, as well as when you get a transfer request.
The second step is to check the information you’re being given against the checklist tables in the trustee booklet, and carry out due diligence on all requests you receive.
The third is to engage with members you think may be at risk of being scammed. Although you can’t stop members from taking a transfer where they legally can, it’s important that you let them know what the implications of their transfer are.
Step four is to encourage them to call The Pensions Advisory Service – known as TPAS – to talk to them about their transfer, and any tax issues that might come out of it. TPAS can also help the member work out if the deal they’ve been offered sounds like a scam, and where to go next.
If the member insists on going ahead anyway, the fifth step is to let Action Fraud know what’s happened. We’ve got contact details for all the relevant organisations, including TPAS, Pension Wise and the FCA in the booklet, so everything you need to know in one single place.
The best weapon against scammers is knowledge – the more your members understand the signs to look out for, and what options are available to them and when, the better protection they’ll have. Help us to help protect your members against scams – don’t let them be next.