News : Zurich and TPAS Launch Joint Pension Scam Helpline
Fareham, UK, February, 2017 -- Pension provider Zurich and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) have joined forces to launch a new pension scam helpline.
Zurich customers who have requested to transfer their pensions into schemes flagged as suspicious will be referred to the helpline.
The helpline will then give these customers independent guidance about transferring.
Currently providers are limited in their ability to block transfers, even when they have concerns about money being moved into a scam.
In 2016 Royal London lost a long running legal battle to stop a customer from transferring into what the firm suspected was a pension liberation scam.
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At the Autumn Statement last year the government published a consultation on measures to tackle scams, including giving providers more power to stop suspicious transfers and a ban on cold-calling about pensions.
Jim Sykes, chief operations officer for Zurich UK Life, said he hoped the helpline would be extended to other providers if it was successful.
'We will encourage customers to contact the free helpline when we have clear concerns over the legitimacy of a receiving scheme,' he said.
'The helpline will provide an additional safety net for our customers and help to reinforce the warnings we already give to savers about potential scams.
'If the helpline is successful, we would like to see it rolled out across the industry to frustrate scammers and prevent more consumers falling victim to fraudsters.'
Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of TPAS, said the helpline would explain to those who wanted to transfer why their provider was delaying the switch.
'We frequently have pension savers contact our service concerned about why their pension provider or scheme is delaying or refusing to transfer their money,' she said.
'However, we know that there are other pension savers who are not contacting us and insisting to the provider or scheme that their money is transferred.
'We hope that this pilot can highlight that an independent voice that explains why the provider is delaying making the transfer, can help people understand why the provider is carrying out the due diligence.'
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Zurich Financial Services is an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network that focuses its activities on its key markets in North America and Europe. Founded in 1872, Zurich is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Through its offices in more than 50 countries, 62,000 Zurich employees serve clients in more than 120 countries.
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