April 22, 2021

In 2020, TPR asked trustees, providers and administrators to pledge to do all they can to protect scheme members and follow the principles of the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) Code of Good Practice. First Actuarial has signed up to this pledge as part of our commitment to stopping scammers in their tracks.

In the world of pensions, we’ve seen an increase in the number of scammers looking to take advantage of scheme members and their hard-earned pension savings.

As scheme administrators, First Actuarial is in the front line of the fight against pension scams. We can give trustees every reassurance that we’re taking this problem very seriously. We’re committed to doing all we can to protect members’ savings.

We have given our full support in recent years to initiatives promoted by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that attempt to eradicate pension scams.

In 2020, TPR asked trustees, providers and administrators to pledge to do all they can to protect scheme members and follow the principles of the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) Code of Good Practice. First Actuarial has signed up to this pledge as part of our commitment to stopping scammers in their tracks.

We make sure our administrators comply with this pledge along with all legislative requirements and industry-wide guidance. And we give them the training they need to spot scams and help combat this ugly side of pensions.

Our anti-scam measures include robust processes in the following areas.

Communicating the risks of scams to members

Our transfer value documentation meets the requirements set out in TPR’s pledge to warn members about pension scams on a regular basis. The steps we take include:

Due diligence on pension transfers

We carry out appropriate due diligence with thorough checks on pension transfers. We then document those checks. The steps we take include:

Training and keeping our knowledge up to date

Our technical team analyses all pensions legislation and guidance. They provide regular training to our scheme administrators. This includes any updates to guidance and relevant codes on pension scams from the regulators.

A number of our employees also attend industry seminars on pension scams run by bodies such as the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI).

Embedding scam awareness in all documentation

There are three key areas of communication warning members about scams covered in the pledge and we are embedding these in our communications.

Annual benefit statements
We recommend that schemes that issue annual benefit statements include links to the ScamSmart section of the FCA website and include a copy of ScamSmart leaflet.

Transfer value documents
As stated above, we give full warnings of scams in all our transfer value documentation.

Client websites
Where members have access to a scheme website or portal, we recommend that it displays warnings about pension scams.

First Actuarial’s commitment

First Actuarial is committed to protecting members from scammers and will continue to look at ways to help members understand the risks out there and what they need to consider when approached by these predators.

Any questions or comments about this article?

Get in touch with the author, Robert Wakefield.

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