PensionsMar 21 2023

Pension Scams Industry Group publishes guidance on transfers

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Pension Scams Industry Group publishes guidance on transfers

The Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has launched a guide outlining key steps a pension practitioner should undertake when assessing a pension transfer.

Under the current regulations introduced in November 2021, where a scheme has concerns members can be referred to MoneyHelper for guidance. 

If there are clear red flags the scheme can refuse the transfer.

However, there have been differing interpretations around the industry which meant transfers were being referred to MoneyHelper even when scam risk was low.

The guide clarifies the situation around discretionary transfers and navigating instances where a red or amber flag may exist, and so should speed up genuine pension transfers.

Phil Warner, head of regulatory development and policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Understanding scheme rules followed by proportionate and effective due diligence is vital in ensuring that potential scams are highlighted early while helping those transfers with a low scam risk to go through quickly.

“It really shows what we can achieve as an industry when differing views are united by a common aim to do the right thing for pension savers.”

Warner added: “We are really pleased to have been able to contribute to clear industry guidance on how pension providers can help protect their members from pension scams without unnecessarily delaying genuine pension transfers.”

Key areas covered in the guide are ‘clean lists’, overseas investments, statutory and discretionary transfers.

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the 2021 regulations are a “powerful tool” in the fight against scammers and this guide brings further clarification around the processes providers need to go through to keep their members safe.

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