To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have accessed and transferred their pension early since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those have been classified as an unauthorised payment from their pension fund.
23 October 2020
This government is committed to safeguarding consumer savings. We have introduced, with other departments, measures that assist all savers to understand their choices and the possible risks of the choices they make along with legislation to protect those most vulnerable to scams.
There is currently no information available about pension unauthorised payments since the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak. This is because administrators of a registered pension scheme must tell HMRC when certain reportable events occur; reportable events include unauthorised payments. The scheme administrator does this by completing and submitting an Event Report for a tax year, these must be received by HMRC by the 31st of January after the end of the tax year to which the Event Report relates. Therefore, reports for the period March to date are not available.
The data available from the industry has so far revealed little evidence of an increase in transfers or scams since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Similarly, independent regulators report less of a problem. We will continue to monitor and assess if there has been any increase in pension scams activity as a result of the crisis.