Pension scammers are coming under fire from MPs who want to do more to stop fraudsters preying on vulnerable savers.
The UK Work and Pensions Select Committee plans a wide-ranging review of how pension freedoms are working and how the government can plug holes in the rules to curb crooks.
Led by MP Frank Field, the committee is asking retirement savers and the pension industry to tell their scam experiences.
“Pension freedom and choice liberated savers to choose what they wanted to do with their own money. This was welcome, but as with any radical reform it important to monitor its practical effects closely to ensure it is working as envisaged. In this case it is vital that adequate support ensures people are equipped to ensure they don’t make decisions they subsequently regret,” he said.
“I am particularly concerned that savers are more vulnerable than ever to unscrupulous scam artists. This policy must not become the freedom to liberate people of their savings.”
The committee wants the government to hurry up with a ban on cold-calling by scammers, which although promised has no fixed date for implementation.
Police say fraudsters have picked up more than £40 million from victims while plans for the ban have been in the pipeline.
Financial regulators also claim crooks are dressing up their web sites with government logos to make them look official.
The committee wants to know about eight key points and to hear suggestions about how to lock scammers out of the pensions process.
These factors include information about how people are spending their pensions, how they make decisions about drawing down cash from their retirement savings and how these decisions are monitored by pension firms and the government.
“One of the major concerns about the new freedoms is the potential for fraudsters to target people thinking about accessing or moving their pension pots,” says the committee.
“The committee is keen to hear of people’s experiences with scammers, and what might be done to prevent these potentially devastating losses.”
Submissions can be made to the committee by following this link
House of Commons select committees review the work of government departments, examining spending, policies and administration.