Consultation on pension scams

15 December 2016

A consultation has been published to seek views on a package of measures to tackle three different areas of pensions scams, including a ban on cold calling in relation to pensions.

Pension scams can cost people their life savings, and leave people facing retirement with limited income, and little or no opportunity to build their pension savings back up. The government is committed to protecting people from pension scams; and pursuing those who perpetuate pension scams wherever possible.

This consultation sets out a package of measures aimed at tackling three different areas of pensions scams:

  • a cold calling ban will cut off a key source of pension scams whilst also sending a clear message to consumers that they should hang-up if they are cold called about their pension
  • current legislation gives pension schemes limited scope to refuse a transfer to a scheme which looks like a scam, even if they have legitimate concerns as to the safety of a member’s savings. HM Treasury is consulting on clarifying the law so that firms can block pension transfers based on clear objective criteria
  • single-member occupation pension schemes currently require no registration with The Pensions Regulator, and can be set up using a dormant company as the sponsoring employer. They are therefore an easy way for fraudsters to register a pension scheme with HMRC. HM Treasury is consulting on making it a requirement that only active companies can register a pension scheme.

The consultation will run until Monday 13 February 2017. Responses should be sent by email to: PensionScamsConsultation@HMTreasury.gsi.gov.uk.