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Raids and arrests in suspected £18m pension fraud case

Handcuffs Justice Guilty 480The Pensions Regulator has opened an investigation into a case of suspected pension fraud worth £18m.

The regulator believes some 370 people have been scammed into moving their savings into eight supposedly illegitimate pension schemes.

In a joint operation between TPR and Essex Police two residential addresses in Essex were searched last week. A business address was also searched.

TPR says four people, three men and one woman, were interviewed under caution and a further two men were arrested and questioned, all on suspicion of fraud offences.

They were then released while the regulator continues the investigation.

It says there is evidence members’ funds were passed on to companies connected to the suspects.

The scheme under innvestigation was flagged by legitimate schemes after members started making requests to transfer.

Nicola Parish, TPR executive director of frontline regulation says: “The legitimate schemes in this case did the right thing by raising their concerns with us and stopping their members transferring out and potentially losing their life savings in what we believe to be scams.”

Her message for scheme members is: “If you are trying to transfer out of a pension scheme and your existing scheme is raising concerns you should listen to them. They are protecting your pension and any red flag warning signs should be taken very seriously.”

Last week, in another part of this investigation, TPR’s Determinations Panel suspended nine people from acting as trustees for 12 months and appointed an independent trustee to the eight schemes at the centre of the investigation.


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is there not in place a rule (or at least pretty clear regulatory guidance) requiring providers to refuse to release any monies unless they’ve been able to verify beyond reasonable doubt the bona fides (such as an HMRC approval reference) of any scheme from which they’ve received a transfer request?

    I seem to recall having read reports of at least two providers operating on this basis. Why has the FCA failed to mandate that this shall be standard practice across ALL providers?

  2. I thought that this was standard practice 20 years ago.

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