Press release, November 11th 2020

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams

– Clarion Call for Collateral –    

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams, which was set up to help deal with the UK’s pension scams problem, is making the Resources page on its new website available to stakeholders to use as a repository of helpful collateral. The Resources page is set to act as a ‘font of all knowledge’ relating to pension scams and will provide access to all kinds of support, information, tools, utilities, research and guidance.

Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East who Chairs the APPG comments that:

“The pension scams problem remains a major public interest issue. The new APPG’s first initiative is to populate our new website’s Resources page with as much helpful collateral as possible, so that it can become something of a central repository for everything and anything that might help. 

We want it to help individuals that are considering transferring their pensions; those that have been scammed and are desperately looking for emotional support and practical guidance; pensions companies that want to share their insights and utilities; regulators that can use it as an additional communications channel; and so on. 

We are therefore calling for all stakeholders that might have something useful to get in touch with our Secretariat so we can consider adding whatever they have to the site.”

APPG member Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham and Chair of the influential Work and Pensions Select Committee, adds: 

“The APPG’s new website has the potential to become a very useful resource so I warmly welcome this development. For example, there has been a great deal of interest in the Select Committee’s current inquiry on Pension Scams, with dozens of highly informative and useful written submissions, from a broad range of stakeholders. The new site will be able to signpost and link to all of that material.” 

The Resources page is a work in progress, but many useful items have already been included

– Ends; notes to Editors below – 

  • For a full list of the Parliamentarians involved see here.
  • For a full list of the Secretariat Committee members see here
  • The APPG’s Purpose Statement is:

“To be a forum through which Parliamentarians and other stakeholders can work together to better protect the public from the perils of pension scams and secondary scammers; give scam victims a representative collective voice; signpost victims to support; and facilitate the development of preventative and supportive policy initiatives.”

  • The initial point of contact regarding the APPG on Pension Scams is the Char of its Secretariat, Andy Agathangelou, who can be reached by Email. 
  • For further information on the Work and Pensions Select Committees inquiry into Pension Scams, see here. The Select Committee’s Press Officer is Oliver Florence who can be reached by Email or on 020 72 191679 
Press release, September 10th, 2020

The newly-formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams

This week has seen the establishment of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams, set up to help deal with what has become a major public concern. It is being led by Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East. Bob Blackman comments that:

“At a time when personal and financial vulnerability is high, attention to the threats to our pensions is welcome and I am pleased to have been elected as Chair of this important All Party Parliamentary Group. I have long been concerned about the approaches of offshore advisers and I believe that this should be the particular focus of the APPG.

The tightening of regulations in the UK, especially over the transfer of rights from defined benefits pensions has had the usual waterbed effect with the problem shifting to offshore fraud hotspots such as Dubai, Spain, Gibraltar and South Africa and I look forward to the APPG being a place to give scam victims a representative collective voice.”

The three other Officers elected into their APPG roles this week as Vice Chairs are:

  • Rob Roberts – Conservative MP for Delyn, who brings particularly valuable insight and experience through having been a successful financial planner for many years;
  • Lord Kirkhope – a lawyer and formerly European Conservatives Spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs;
  • Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, a part of Wales hit very hard by pension scammers who targeted British Steel workers. Nick Smith states:

“Too many people have lost out to pension scams and rogue advisers. The systems in place to protect and advise them are inadequate. My aim is to see better help available, simpler complaints procedures in place and stronger, faster action taken against those responsible.”

Importantly, the new APPG is viewed positively by Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham and Chair of the influential Work and Pensions Select Committee, who comments:

“I welcome the launch of the new APPG on Pension Scams, just as the Select Committee inquiry on Pension Scams is starting.  The Group will help to focus attention across Parliament on a topic that has rightly become a major public concern.”

One of the APPG’s first tasks is to formalise its Purpose Statement. That’s an advanced work-in-progress already – the draft is:

“To be a forum through which Parliamentarians and other stakeholders can work together to better protect the public from the perils of pension scams and secondary scammers; give scam victims a representative collective voice; signpost victims to support; and facilitate the development of preventative and supportive policy initiatives.”

The new APPG is gaining widespread support from many stakeholders, including pensions industry professionals and pension scam victims; some of whom have volunteered to be part of the APPG’s Secretariat Committee. More volunteers are wanted.

– Ends; notes to Editors below – 

– For further information on the Work and Pensions Select Committees inquiry into Pension Scams, the first evidence session for which takes place on the morning of Wednesday 16th September, see here . The Select Committee’s Press Officer is Oliver Florence who can be reached through here / 020 72 191679 

– The initial point of contact regarding the APPG on Pension Scams is Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force who is one of the volunteers involved with the APPG’s Secretariat: Click here. Andy is also a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, which recently published: How have scams evolved since the introduction of pension freedoms