- The Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has launched an interim practitioner 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.
- 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.
- Key areas covered are ‘clean lists’, overseas investments, statutory and discretionary transfers.
Phil Warner, head of regulatory development and policy at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“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. 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”
Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“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. With robust due diligence the vast majority of transfers should go through without delay, but differing interpretations of the rules have led to some transfers being referred to MoneyHelper even when the scam risk is extremely low.
This guide provides clear and practical guidance that ceding schemes can incorporate to ensure those with the ability to make discretionary powers are not blocking or delaying transfers unless there are genuine pension scam concerns.”