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Friends Life refuses 500 pension transfers over liberation fears

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Friends Life has turned down 500 requests to transfer pensions since August over fears around liberation schemes.

This means Friends Life is blocking more than one suspicious transfer every day into “high-risk schemes” with the total value of these requests standing at more than £12m.

Friends Life says it follows The Pensions Regulator’s guidelines on liberation schemes and has identified a number of high risk schemes. It reports any suspicious requests to HMRC and Action Fraud.

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In May, City of London Police said it dismantled a suspected organised crime gang believed to be cold-calling and text messaging people across the UK with fraudulent pension liberation offers.

Pensions minister Steve Webb has pledged to review rules around pension liberation schemes after the arrests and a clamp down by regulators.

Last month, Legal & General put its pension liberation rules under review because it only delays transfers but does not block them outright. 

Friends Life head of corporate benefits marketing Martin Palmer says: “The fact that the companies instigating pensions liberation transfers and the schemes they are attempting to transfer the funds into are not registered is not only worrying for the industry but could be devastating for the future financial wellbeing of customers.

“The industry needs to take action, sooner rather than later to avoid this becoming the next big scandal and to help safeguard the retirement provision of thousands of people across the UK.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Hats of to Friends Life – well done

  2. Good work Friends Life.

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