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Call for evidence

Protecting pension savers - five years on from the pension freedoms: Pension scams

In 2015, people aged 55 and over were given more choice about how they accessed their defined contribution pensions. Five years on, the Work and Pensions Committee is starting a major piece of work looking at the next steps in preparing and protecting people moving from saving for retirement to using their pension savings. 

Our work is going to be in three parts, starting with an inquiry into pension scams. When we looked at how DWP and its public bodies were responding to the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we would look into pensions scams in detail.  

If you’re responding on behalf of an organisation, or you’re an individual who wants to send us a longer written submission, we’d welcome your evidence. 

You don’t need to answer all of the questions below, and you can tell us anything relevant, even if it isn’t covered by these questions. Some of the questions we are interested in are:

1. What is the prevalence of pension scams? 

2. What are the current trends in pension scams?

3. What are the common outcomes of pension scams for perpetrators and victims?

4. How are existing enforcement tools being used?

5. What more can be done to prevent pension scammers operating?

6. What more can be done to prevent individuals becoming victims of pension scams?

7. What role should the pensions industry have in preventing scams?  

8. Is HMRC’s position on the tax treatment of pension scam victims correct?

9. Are public bodies co-ordinating the response to pension scams?  

We will be taking evidence through to the end of 2020 on this topic. The deadline for written evidence is 9 September 2020. We’ll still be able to use evidence we receive after that date, but your evidence will be able to have more impact on our work if we receive it by the deadline.  

In early 2021, we will be looking at how savers access their pensions. We will be asking about the range of options available to savers, and how advice and guidance supports their decision making. A detailed call for evidence will be put out next year. 

Finally, later in 2021, we will be looking at saving for later life and what more needs to be done to help people plan and save for retirement. We will be asking if households have adequate savings for retirement and if there are measures the Government should consider to reduce the gender pension gap and to support self-employed and gig economy workers save for retirement.  

Where to get help

If you have any concerns about an offer you’ve received, or about a conversation you’ve had about transferring or accessing your pension, you can check with The Pensions Advisory Service.

They can also give you advice if you’ve been a victim of a scam.

You can speak to a pension specialist at The Pensions Advisory Service on their helpline on 0800 011 3797 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm) or use their webchat service or online enquiry form at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

If you’ve been a victim of a scam and need support:

  • You can contact Victim Support or Think Jessica if a scam has made you feel anxious, fearful or guilty. They provide emotional and practical help to victims of crimes and scams.
  • You can contact the 24-hour Samaritans helpline on 116 123 if you feel low or anxious and need someone to talk to.
  • You can contact Citizens Advice if you’re having trouble paying your bills and are worried about what to do.

 

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Protecting pension savers – five years on from the pension freedoms: Pension scams Inquiry