Pension fraud has hit the headlines once more as latest figures reveal that victims of pension scammers lost an average of £91,000 each in 2017.
This has prompted both The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to act. The two regulators have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of this ongoing issue, ScamSmart.
Scott Herbert, Partner and IFA of Clarke Nicklin Financial Planning has fully commended this move. He comments, ‘Losing this amount of money from your pension scheme is devastating for the people who have been robbed of the retirement they have planned. This is another step in the right direction towards protecting consumers from scammers. Anyone with the gift of the gab and looking professional can purport to be a pensions advisor and make themselves sound knowledgeable enough to defraud people out of their savings, but they will not be FCA regulated. FCA regulated firms go through stringent assessments to be accredited, and are subject to continued strict monitoring measures to keep them compliant for the safety of clients’
ScamSmart is targeting pension holders aged 45-65, the group most at risk of pension scams. It is urging people to be on their guard when receiving unexpected offers regarding their pension and to always check who they are dealing with. A poll commissioned by both regulators revealed that almost a third of pension holders wouldn’t know how to check if they were dealing with a legitimate pension advisor or provider.
It is vital to find out who you are dealing with. You can check via http://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart , which is a very easy step by step process to establish that the firm is FCA regulated, or contact Kath at firstname.lastname@example.org , or on 0161 495 4700 to check credentials for you. Even if the firm has been recommended to you it’s wise to only use firms authorised by the FCA who are subject to strict regulation.