The Pensions Scorpion Campaign was launched by the UK Pensions Regulator to create awareness of pension scams, for both the investing public and pension trustees and pension companies, to protect the public.
The Pensions Scorpion Campaign leaflet provides a valuable checklist to help ensure the public are informed as to what sort of questions they should and also information about what to check and what to be wary of.
Anyone that has recently contacted their pension provider/trustee for a transfer value will have also received a warning leaflet describing the Pensions Scorpion Campaign . While this is no guarantee against being scammed or poorly advised , it should help investors pay a bit of attention to the way they were contacted and what has been offered.
If they get the Pensions Scorpion Campaign warning!
Pensions Scorpion Campaign leaflet not sent to member
When we deal with final salary pension advice, at TMP, we ask the client to contact their trustees to get the pension transfer pack directly from the trustees. This is for a number of reasons.
- It is the quickest way to get it
- The member has control of the information and can decide whether to pass this onto the adviser or not, giving them a chance to change their minds.
- They will get to see the Pensions Scorpion Campaign warnings with the pack.
Recent Experience – Avoidance of declaration by non-UK adviser firms
We have recently taken on a new client who wants advice on his final salary scheme. However, he spoke to another non-UK adviser firm originally and completed a letter of authority for them to obtain the pension transfer pack on his behalf so that it was sent to them, rather than directly to him.
When he realised the firm were not declaring all their charges, while claiming to be transparent, he was not satisfied and called us.
We asked for a copy of his pension transfer pack and discussed the Pensions Scorpion Campaign leaflet. He had never been sent either, and therefore had never seen them. He had just been sent a section of the transfer out statement provided by the trustees- and was expected to make a decision based on that before getting a written report. How does that come even close to best practice?
We have asked him to contact his trustees directly to get another pension transfer pack, which will have the Pensions Scorpion Campaign leaflet attached. He is unwilling to go back to the original advisers to get the full pack as he is unsure if they will co-operate even though it is his pack- given their annoyance that he refused to continue to deal with the firm any longer.
While there is no suggestion the initial adviser had any intention to scam the member, it raises a few questions. In a different situation, perhaps a different adviser could have done the very things the Pensions Scorpion Campaign leaflet warns against- the member never having seen the initial warning pack, nor the full CETV pack.
The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not except any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.
This article was published on 13th March 2017
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