HM Treasury written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of Mhairi Black Mhairi Black Scottish National Party, Paisley and Renfrewshire South

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to protect pensioners with access to their defined contribution pension from being targeted by scams.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Monitoring the market for scams and misselling is the responsibility of the regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Regulator. The FCA, in line with its remit to protect consumers and ensure markets function in consumers’ interests, has specifically committed to monitoring developments in the retirement income market closely and to take action where consumers are coming to harm or where the market is not operating competitively. The Government remains in close contact with the regulators, and other organisations such as industry trade bodies, on these issues.

The FCA recently launched a new high-profile consumer awareness campaign around investment scams, ScamSmart, and the FCA and the Pensions Regulator, along with a number of other relevant organisations, have undertaken a joint publicity campaign to improve consumer awareness of pension scams.

Pension Wise, the Government’s free and impartial guidance service, also helps individuals understand how to spot and avoid scams.

More widely, the Government will be launching a consultation next month to strengthen people’s rights to access their pensions flexibly. The consultation will look at ways of making the process for transferring pensions from one scheme to another quicker and smoother and removing any unjustifiable barriers to doing so.

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