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Warn members about high-risk transfers

You should clearly communicate your concerns to scheme members who request a transfer from the pension where you believe there is a high risk of a scam.

If you have carried out all appropriate checks on the pension transfer and believe there is a risk that it is a scam, you should contact the member in writing and by phone to share your concerns.

Write to the member

You should ask for written consent from the member for the transfer by sending them a discharge form. This will show you have clearly communicated your concerns and they understand the risk. There is no obligation on the member to supply written consent.

You can use the discharge letter templates in the resources pack of the Pension Scams Industry Group Code of Good Practice.

Call the member

You should call the scheme member to share your concerns.

Scammers may tell members to disregard any communications from their schemes as ‘scare tactics’. But speaking to someone over the phone can be the last chance to protect a member.

You can also direct members to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance on considering a defined benefit pension transfer or defined contribution pension transfers.

Alerting members to the risks of a scam is not advice. Read about providing support with financial matters without being subject to FCA regulation (PDF, 293kb, 14 pages).

Keep records

You should keep a record of the communication you have had with the scheme member.

This ensures that you can show you have done everything possible to warn the member of the risks. This will be essential if they subsequently make a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman.