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MP calls for legal changes to tackle pension scams

written by Bella Palmer

The head of the work and pensions committee said that the committee that is currently probing the pension freedoms can help identify the laws and implement them

The head of the work and pensions committee has said that “some changes to the law” are required to tackle pension scams better.

MP Stephen Timms spoke today at the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams.

He said the committee that is currently probing the pension freedoms can help “identify” those laws and “implement them”.

Timms also said the first public hearing will happen on 16 September and he expects the inquiry to run until October or November.

Other parliamentarians attended the online meeting hosted by Transparency Task Force founder Andy Agathangelou.

They explained how scammers have damaged the lives of some of their constituents and suggested more needs to be done to help them.

MP Bob Blackman represents Harrow East and campaigned for policy holders in Equitable Life.

He said: My constituency is one with an ageing demographic and they are being targeted by scammers who are trying to rob their life savings. Scammers are more sophisticated.

This week I have received various calls on my mobile phone about pension reviews from different parts of the world. I was getting calls from Kosovo, Africa, parts of the Indian subcontinent. These have gone up during the lockdown, he said.

MP Nick Smith, who represents Blaenau Gwent, campaigned for steelworkers harmed in the British Steel Pensions Scheme scandal.

He said: BSPS coincided with the pension freedoms and created a situation where many lost out. I have been working with steelworkers and I have criticisms of the FCA. It is too City of London focused and not consumer focused and has been slow to help steelworkers. It is also difficult to make a complaint. My objective is to improve outcomes for pensions people.

A report published today suggested pension regulators should be allowed to override the statutory right to transfer should a suspected scam be reported to them.


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