TPR urges schemes to report suspected scam

TPR urges schemes to report suspected scam

The Pensions Regulator is urging more schemes to share data on suspected scams, after almost 400 schemes have joined its campaign to protect savers.

In a statement published yesterday (January 18), the watchdog stated 398 pension funds, covering an estimated 16m pension pots, have joined its 'Pledge to Combat Pension Scams'.

Launched in November 2020, the campaign encourages schemes to do more to protect savers from scammers, including reporting suspected scams to the authorities – Action Fraud or by calling 101 in Scotland.

Signatories of the pledge are asked to warn members regularly about scams, promote guidance services, document their actions, and clearly communicate their concerns to both members and authorities.

However, TPR stated more must be done on reporting, and “every administrator, trustee and provider should take responsibility for protecting savers” and join the campaign. 

According to Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, “scammers screw up lives and industry must stand up and do all it can to protect savers from these life-shattering crimes, by joining our pledge campaign and reporting any suspected scams”.

While delighted with the numbers achieve so far, Parish noted “every saver deserves to be in a scheme committed to keeping their money safe from scammers”.

Regulations were introduced back in November in a move to stop scams happening on defined benefit transfers.

The regulations, which came into force on November 30, empower trustees and scheme managers to prevent a transfer request when a ‘red flag’ is present; for example, if a scheme member requests a transfer after receiving unsolicited contact or has been offered an incentive to transfer.

In instances of any ‘amber flags’, such as investments that would normally only be offered to sophisticated investors, a member must obtain guidance from the government’s MoneyHelper service before the transfer may go ahead.

Maria Espadinha is the editor of FTAdviser's sister title Pensions Expert

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