Bob Blackman MP, Conservative, Harrow East
Chair

“My constituency of Harrow East has an ageing demographic who are continually targeted by scammers. Personally I have received a number of calls regarding a pension review from all over the world, most notably from Kosovo and parts of India.

I am pleased that the APPG will begin by holding an important inquiry into victims who have been approached by offshore “advisers” and look forward to working with colleagues on this important issue."

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Nick Smith MP, Labour, Blaneau Gwent
Vice Chair

“Thanks to the new freedoms granted five years ago, more money is being transferred out of pension schemes than ever before, but the market remains complex and open to abuse. With a lack of support and advice available, consumers are vulnerable to scams and bad advice.

Three years ago, we saw one of the most serious and widespread cases when members of the British Steel Pension Scheme were aggressively targeted by rogue advisers.

Many lost thousands of pounds; I am aware of one steelworker who lost close to £200,000. The scale of the issue is startling. I want to see a system in place which better protects consumers and punishes the unscrupulous rogues who prey on their life savings.

I am very pleased to be part of this APPG which will I hope will give a voice to victims and help tackle scams."

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Lord Kirkhope, Harrogate
Vice Chair

“I’m a British lawyer and Parliamentarian . I am also a Pension Scheme Trustee protecting the rights of Beneficiaries under a sizeable scheme. I previously served as Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and for the Conservative Party. After serving for ten years as Member of Parliament for Leeds North East I was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999. I am acutely aware that the UK has a significant pension scams problem; and I am part of this APPG to do my bit to make a positive difference.”

 

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Rob Roberts MP, Conservative, Delyn
Vice Chair

“Having been a financial planner specialising in pensions advice in my career prior to entering Parliament, I am all too aware of the dangers that are out there for consumers from those unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of the complex issues around pension planning. 

Whilst the Government and regulator has taken significant strides in recent years to ensure that people are more informed about financial services products and the dangers in the system, there is always more that can be done in order to safeguard consumers from harm and I am pleased to be able to bring my years of experience in the financial marketplace to bear in assisting the APPG in the goal of eradicating pension scams.”

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Stephen Timms MP, East Ham, Labour; and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee
Member

"I chair the Work and Pensions Select Committee.  We are currently conducting an inquiry on the impact of the pension freedoms, introduced by George Osborne five years ago.  The most worrying impact has been the new opportunities for criminals to defraud of their pension savings people who should be able to look forward to a comfortable retirement.  We are therefore dedicating the first part of our inquiry specifically to the problem of scams, in the hope of being able to propose to the Government improved protections for savers.  This gives me a particular current interest in the work of the APPG."

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Emma Hardy MP, Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
Member

“Pensions scammers present an awful threat to people who have worked hard all their lives and the pensions that they have managed to put to one side. It is awful that these hard working people can be conned into parting with the pension pot that should provide them with a nice relaxing retirement.

I fully support this APPG and I hope as parliamentarians we can help put in place procedures that can put a stop to such vile scams.”

Yvonne Fovargue MP, Labour, Makerfield
Member

“Pension scammers are particularly insidious because they fleece people while pretending to give impartial advice. 

I have campaigned all my professional life for the public to have access to good quality, free to client, impartial financial guidance, pensions advice and debt advice.

So it is particularly unpleasant to witness so important a principle abused in this way, especially when it involves such large sums. 

Pension scammers need to be stopped, and I hope that the new APPG can play an important part in achieving this”

Lord Harris, Haringey
Member

"It is an unfortunate fact of life that evil and unscrupulous criminals and fraudsters will try to exploit people using any means possible.  Pension scams in which people are conned into parting with their pension pots - money they have accumulated through their working lives to support them in their retirement - are particularly unpleasant.  I am happy to support this APPG so that in Parliament we can provide a voice for those who have lost money in this way and work to develop policies to combat such frauds."

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Martyn Day MP, SNP, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Member

“When the new pension flexibilities were introduced in April 2015, transparency and the quality of consumer protection that should have accompanied this move were insufficient.

“This is evident from the recent FCA report that over £30 billion has been lost to pension scammers from 2017. This white-collar crime is a significant financial loss. However, this figure does not relay the material and psychological impact that pension scamming has on its victims. These people have been robbed of income that they deferred to ensure dignity in retirement.


“I have decided to take part in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pension Scams because I support efforts to protect people, and the goods and services they use. This is particularly true during these uncertain and worrying times of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Organised crime does not respect borders and it is essential that we can access the information systems, support and technical expertise that is available through Europol. A joined-up approach across sectors and nations is key in increasing protection for pension holders across the UK.

“I hope the APPG can be a force in giving victims of pension scams confidence that they will receive the right support and advice through the criminal justice process; reimburse them if they fall victim; make potential victims less likely to fall for ‘free pension reviews’ from fraudsters given the financial pressures Covid-19 has introduced; increase efforts to raise awareness to help prevent scamming in the first place; and ensure our financial system functions safely outside the EU.”

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Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Minister, Labour, Birmingham Erdington
Member

"As the Covid crisis deepens millions will be desperate and might fall prey to the pension scams sharks who make millions out of misery. The APPG will bring together MPs from across Party to combat  pension fraudsters and challenge bad practice." 

Baroness Wheatcroft, House of Lords
Member

"Too many people have had their lives ruined by heartless scammers. The APPG will work to protect savers and help the victims of the shameless perpetrators of pension fund scams."

 

Aaron Bell MP, Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Member

"I have a constituent who contacted me earlier this year about the very significant impact a pension scam has had on her life and her plans for retirement. Hearing her story made me more aware of the level of harm this type of fraud can cause, and also of the broader issues in the sector.

This APPG is an excellent way of raising awareness about the problems these scams can cause. I hope it can be a forum for proposing policy solutions which address the harms caused by those preyed upon by predatory scammers, while ensuring the benefits of pension liberalisation are maintained."  

 

Chris Elmore MP, Labour, Ogmore
Member

"Sadly I have met many people who have fallen victim to all types of scams and have witnessed the detrimental effect this has on an individuals life. The work of this APPG is really important to highlight the issue of pension scams, in order to improve awareness and protection from these terrible operations. Ensuring that individuals hard earned savings are protected is of vital importance and I look forward to working cross party with the APPG on this key issue."

 

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Labour, Streatham
Member

"Since 2017, pension scammers have managed to scam approximately £30 million from UK pensioners. These are innocent people who have worked hard to live comfortably through retirement but are cheated by cruel individuals who prey on the vulnerable. Anyone can become a victim to a pension scam and once they realise, it’s usually too late to recover all they have lost.

 We need preventative and supportive policy initiatives to tackle the UK’s pension scam problem. I am hopeful that MPs from across Parliament working together through this APPG will help see an end to pension scams."

Patricia Gibson MP, Scottish National Party, North Ayrshire and Arran
Member

Comment to follow

Henry Smith MP, Conservative, Crawley
Member

“In a previous career I was a financial adviser and one of the aspects I found most rewarding was sitting with a family in their home, often around the kitchen table, to help them plan a secure future in retirement; it is the most natural of ambitions that people want to provide as much certainty as possible for later life and work hard to make those contributions.

 It is therefore a terrible crime for pension and other investment scammers to seek to rob trusting and hard-working people of their future security. In my job now as a Member of Parliament I feel it my responsibility to work together across the political divide to help ensure those I used to advise, and all other everyday investors, that their future wellbeing is safe and sufficient.”

Sammy Wilson MP. Democratic Unionist Party, East Antrim
Member

"The work which the All Party Parliamentary Group has carried out on pension scams is especially important at this time. Many people are concerned  about their financial future and those concerns are being prayed upon by ruthless individuals who seek to rob them of their hard earned savings."

Ruth Jones MP, Labour, Newport West
Member

"I am pleased to be part of this vital cross party APPG but very sorry that it is necessary due to the increasing number of pension scams in operation. I am appalled to see how hard working honest people across the UK are being targeted about the largest sum of money they have ever had to deal with. It is heart breaking to hear stories from local constituents about how they have been conned out of huge sums of money. Money which was carefully built up over many years to provide for a comfortable old age. This has been taken away at a stroke condemning ordinary people to a less comfortable lifestyle but also the guilt they feel at having been conned by some unscrupulous person.

This APPG has been set up to address this terrible situation and I am happy to work with others to achieve our goal."