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HMRC acts to combat pension liberation fraud

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has taken action to combat pension liberation fraud.

According to a statement issued by HMRC, it has strengthened the pension scheme registration process by moving away from the “process now, check later” approach.
 
On pension transfers, it has also revised the process for responding to requests for confirmation of the registration status of a scheme. This may help to flag up suspect schemes.
 
These measures have emerged following an industry/government workshop in September to explore solutions.
 
Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “These measures will help but there is no magic-bullet solution to this fraud problem. It isn’t always possible to even prove that fraud has been committed and whilst some of the fraudsters have been pretty inept, they are becoming more sophisticated. We are very concerned that the government’s plans to introduce an automatic transfer system, whilst well-intentioned could make the problem a great deal worse.”

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