Scams  

Red flag warnings causing huge delays on pension transactions

Mr Gibbs said: “Providers are covering themselves more nowadays and the client has to answer a lot more questions.”

The adviser explained that one provider has introduced a new form for transfers, which has become the next step in the process.

It asks the client to confirm how they have heard about the receiving scheme, their investment intentions and, if it is a Ssas, what their link is with the employer.

Mr Gibbs said this was just another step in the process that causes delays.

He said: “The ceding scheme would argue it is protecting the member but the adviser sees it as yet another hurdle that is over the top and not needed.”

Recommendations

Mr Gibbs explained how advisers tend to have providers of choice, which they will use for the majority of transfers and switches.

With the big providers it is obvious it will all be above board and therefore too much work should not be required, he said.

But he suggested providers should have a list of regulated advisers to speed up the transfer process.

Meanwhile, Whitehall Group's Mr Mattison said HM Revenue & Customs and The Pensions Regulator should rubber stamp providers rather than placing all the emphasis on the transferring company. 

He said: “These firms should also be encouraged to produce their own ‘safe lists’ to speed up pension transfers. This whole area is long overdue a complete overhaul.”

Dentons' Mr McPhillips agreed that ceding schemes should be capable of quickly checking on the legitimacy of the provider/scheme into which the member is looking to transfer. 

He added: “HMRC’s current process for first checking, and then, potentially, registering new Ssas should give ceding schemes some comfort that previous scams involving some Ssas should no longer be a major issue.”

amy.austin@ft.com

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