Representatives from the Government, regulators and the pensions industry will meet this Thursday to discuss how to clamp down on pension liberation schemes.
The summit, which has been organised by The Pensions Regulator and will be attended by representatives from DWP, the Serious Fraud Office, the FCA and the pensions industry, will consider ways of tackling liberation schemes, including changes to the law.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “Pension liberation fraud is a crime. That is why, as part of our plans to build a fairer society, we are working across government and industry to stamp it out and to raise awareness of the dangers of handing over your pension pot.
“By coming together this week we will look at what else could be done, including whether we may need to change the law.
“By signing up to one of these schemes you will destroy your future retirement savings.
“The promise of easy money when times are tough is all too tempting, and there are far too many unscrupulous people who will prey upon this. These people want your pension pot and if you are offered a deal to unlock your pension, don’t touch it.”
In an interview with Money Marketing in May, Webb said the DWP is considering introducing tougher rules to discourage pension liberation schemes.
TPR has already taken steps to warn people about the dangers of using liberation schemes to access their pension early. In February, the regulator launched a communication campaign to raise awareness of the schemes among savers, trustees and advisers.
In May, police made arrests in London, Cheshire, Glasgow and Ayr following a major investigation into pension liberation fraud.
Providers have also attempted to stem the practice by blocking transfers to schemes they suspect are being used for liberation.