Pension freedoms: stop the scams

At the beginning of 2015, we highlighted that the new pension freedoms that come fully online on 6 April also represent a very attractive opportunity for the criminal fraternity to scam savers out of some, or all, of their accumulated retirement savings.

With so many potential scams just over the horizon, it’s going to be important that employers alert their employees to the potential dangers of such scams, and how best to avoid them.

It’s also likely that employers will be well placed to spot new scams and scammers that may be targeting their employees. But what should an organisation do if they feel that they have witnessed a scam (or potential scam) and/or want to avoid others being sucked into the same trap?

The best place for employers (and by extension their employees) to start would be

Other useful places to visit include:

The Pensions Regulator (TPR): A useful link from the above site — and one that you can also share with your employees — is this downloadable leaflet.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Although not solely dedicated to pension scams (other financial scams are also available), this is nevertheless a useful starting point if you think your employees are being contacted by scammers. The web page Protect yourself from unauthorised firms includes not only a checklist to help protect consumers, but also a link to a register of ‘firms’ to avoid (in alphabetical order): Unauthorised firms to avoid.

There is also a section to report unauthorised firms that may be operating in this space: Report an unauthorised firm.

We encourage all employers to (at the very least) share these links with employees. One email could make all the difference, and prevent one or more of your staff making a potentially disastrous and irreversible decision.

Should you have any queries, please speak to your usual Jelf pensions consultant in the first instance.