The Pensions Regulator plans to launch a new “hard-hitting” pensions liberation awareness campaign in a bid to warn savers about the dangers of accessing their fund early.
The regulators anti-liberation efforts have previously focused on the role of providers, advisers and employers in informing members of the dangers and, where possible, blocking transfers to suspect schemes.
Writing for Money Marketing, TPR executive director for defined contribution Andrew Warwick-Thompson says the regulator is preparing to unveil a new campaign focused squarely on consumers.
He says: “In the course of our work to disrupt pension scams, we’ve learned of some genuinely troubling cases – of people who face losing their home and being plunged into debt, and of desperate people who have been left suicidal.
“We know of one individual who took his own life after he transferred his pension to a scam scheme but did not receive the promised lump sum.
“Some people know exactly what they’re getting into and regard it as nobody else’s business what they do with their pension pot. But others are more vulnerable, with limited financial knowledge, and are misled by the sales patter and obfuscation of people calling them with offers of upfront cash or ‘one off’ investment opportunities.
“That’s why The Pensions Regulator, working with other Government agencies and law enforcement bodies, is launching a new ‘Scorpion’ awareness campaign that places a greater focus on consumer awareness.
“Our message to retirement savers is check the facts before you make an irreversible decision – a lifetime’s savings could be lost in a moment. We’re making the material clearer and harder-hitting.”
The regulator says further communications relating to the campaign will be rolled out during the autumn.