FCA, TPR and MaPS joint statement on P&O defined benefit pension schemes

Current and former employees of P&O are urged not to make any quick decisions about their pension following recent media reports.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) are raising their concerns given the heightened risk of pension transfers following recent redundancies. The FCA and TPR warn that transferring out of a defined benefit pension scheme is unlikely to be in the best interests of most people.

Savers concerned about their pensions, or who are considering transferring out, should seek impartial guidance from MoneyHelper, run by MaPS.

Current and former employees of P&O seeking financial advice should first check if the adviser is on the FCA’s register and their services include ‘advising on pension transfers and pension opt-outs’. The FCA has information on what to expect when seeking advice on its website. Savers can find out how to spot and avoid a pension scam on its ScamSmart pages.

The FCA regulates pension transfer advice and has taken significant action where it considers that firms have not met the standards of advice and behaviour expected for financial advice. The FCA is repeating its guidance to those providing advice on pension transfers that they ought to start from a position that a transfer is unlikely to be in most people’s best interest.

TPR is in discussions with the trustees of the associated pension schemes in its role to protect savers. The trustees have been asked to send a joint letter from FCA, TPR and MaPS warning of the risks of transferring to any savers who ask for a cash equivalent transfer value.

Notes to editors

  1. TPR is liaising with the trustees of pension schemes associated with P&O Ferries to closely monitor transfer requests.   
  2. The Pension Schemes Act 2021 introduced a system of red and amber flags, giving trustees the power to refuse transfers where there’s a heightened risk it may be part of a scam. TPR published guidance helping trustees understand their new powers to halt suspicious transfers.

Source: FCA

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