Responding to the decision by the Work and Pensions Committee to open an inquiry into pension freedoms, Ian Bell, head of pensions at RSM said:
‘The decision by the Work and Pensions Committee to open a new inquiry into the impact of the pension freedom and choice reforms introduced in April 2015 should be welcomed, and we are particularly pleased to see that the committee will investigate concerns around pension scams.
‘Prior to the introduction of the pensions freedom reforms in April 2015, we warned about the potential for an increase in the numbers of vulnerable scheme members being conned out of their life-savings.
‘Earlier this year, we published research which found that schemes had experienced a rise in suspect member transfer requests following the introduction of the policy. Recent police data revealing that £43m of people’s retirement savings have been lost to fraud since April 2015 also suggests we were right to worry.
‘Although there have been some good initiatives from the Pensions Regulator, among others, to raise awareness of the problem, the Government’s response to the issue – particularly around the banning of cold calls for example – has been confused and slow.
‘It is to be hoped that the Committee can put pressure on the Government for more action in this area.’