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.