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Labour promises cross-government taskforce to tackle pension scams

A Labour government would launch a cross-government taskforce to tackle pension scams if elected in May, according to shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves.

Responding to a Daily Mail investigation into the sale of savers’ data, Reeves says that while Labour welcomes the incoming pension freedoms, it will look to protect savers from fraudsters and introduce a cap on fees.

She says: “Labour supports greater flexibility on retirement, and will take swift action to protect savers, with a cross-government task force to stamp out scams, and caps on pension fees and charges, including for retirement products, so that savers get the most out of their money.”

She adds that the case for stronger oversight of pensions has been strengthened ahead of the implement of new freedoms next week.

“This is further evidence of the Government’s total failure to protect more than 300,000 savers who could start accessing their pensions in just over a week’s time,” Reeves adds.

“Ministers have ignored warning after warning about the threats to savers from fraudsters, but they must now act quickly to protect savers from these serious threats to people’s hard earned retirement income.”

Reeves’ comments echo those of Labour leader Ed Miliband, who responded to the Budget by noting that “rip-off merchants” are awaiting those seeking to access their pensions, while Labour MP Stephen Timms has also warned that party would seek urgent reassurances on safeguards around misselling.

However, it also comes days after Chancellor George Osborne sought to play down fears to potential misselling, telling the Treasury select committee he was comfortable current systems provide adequate protection for savers.

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Comments

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

  1. The Daily Mail report suggests that George Osborrne’s ‘comfortable’ stance could be woefully ill-judged – or maybe he just thinks that after May 7th it’ll all be someone elses problem…

  2. Labour MP Stephen Timms is talking about misselling. Thats not the issue here, regulated advisers could missell a minute portion of the whole but stastically unimportant and protected, so not an issue. The reality is that scammers, who are aided and abbetted by tele marketing firms who break the Data protection act as well as the TPS rules, can buy data to use to scam people. £250 gets you 1,000 fresh contacts to phone, all with information that the recipiant has a private pension and is over the minimum age.

  3. Surely this cross party policing already exists, the FCA?

    Interested to see whether the cap on fees will apply to advisers, if so they will have to cap all regulatory levies, PI costs etc which form part of the fee structure. While they are at it, why not nationalise the whole thing, call it NEST and send everyone to the CAB for ” guidance”.

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