The PLSA has proposed that the Government should introduce an authorisation regime for pension schemes as a means of tackling pension scams.
Responding to a consultation from DWP and HM Treasury, the PLSA said the authorisation regime should focus initially on all new schemes with fewer than 100 members, and existing schemes with fewer than 100 members that wish to receive pension transfers. This would cover Small Self-administered Schemes (SSASs), which, together with overseas schemes, present the greatest risk of being used as vehicles for scams.
Under the PLSA’s proposal there would be a legal requirement for smaller schemes that are new or wish to accept transfers to appoint an independent professional trustee with a duty to blow the whistle if they suspect a scam.
This requirement would be backed up by a mandatory qualification for independent professional trustees based closely on the requirements for trustees of master trusts.
An alternative would be for small schemes to have a recognised professional, such as a lawyer, accountant or actuary, as the independent trustee.
James WalshPolicy Lead: Engagement, EU & Regulation