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Are you scammable or scamproof?

Ref: PN15-33
Monday 20 July 2015

The Pensions Regulator is today giving pension savers the help that they need to safeguard against potential scams.

In support of Scams Awareness Month, the regulator has added new information on its website as part of its ongoing scorpion campaign, alerting retirement savers to the risks.

The regulator’s new infographic poster explains typical pension scammers tactics and ways in which members can scamproof their savings.

A new video has been produced by the regulator in which chief executive Lesley Titcomb talks about how members can help protect themselves, and how the regulator is working with other government organisations to disrupt scamming activity.

In addition guidance is available for pension scheme trustees, including a checklist of scam hallmarks, and the campaign signposts to a new code of good practice that sets out due diligence processes to combat pension scams. It calls on trustees to encourage members to contact Pension Wise, the new government service aimed at helping those approaching 55 to understand their options.

Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of The Pensions Regulator said:

“The people behind pension scams are shape shifters. They are sophisticated and well organised so we have to be resourceful, tenacious and work collaboratively with Government, law enforcement and other agencies to educate the public, disrupt the activities of scammers and take legal action where necessary. There is no single organisation or agency which can tackle scams alone.

“Consumers have their part to play by arming themselves with the facts. In addition pension scheme trustees should be warning members to be vigilant and informed as to the dangers of potential scams. Trustees can play their part by directing savers to scorpion material, helping their members to recognise the hallmarks of scams and how to protect themselves.

Editor's notes

  1. The Pension Regulator is working with a taskforce of Government, regulators, financial services bodies and criminal justice agencies (Project Bloom) to disrupt and prevent scams.
  2. The new guidance service Pension Wise is aimed at helping those approaching 55 to understand their options. Citizen’s Advice Bureau and The Pensions Advisory Service will provide the expertise required to help people consider their options and make good choices. New requirements have been put in place requiring providers to ask people accessing their pension savings questions based on how they want to access their savings to assess risk. The Pensions Regulator has issued guidance aimed at encouraging trustees to make members aware of the risks in making certain choices. It is now a criminal offence for scammers to impersonate the official guidance service.
  3. Follow information via @actionfrauduk on Twitter and the Action Fraud page on Facebook.
  4. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the employer’s plans for sustainable growth (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Tim Marks 01273 662092
Out of hours 01273 648496