TPR sharpens focus on security

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The Pensions Regulator has said its work with the Fraud Intelligence Bureau shows a “highly complex and sophisticated” threat from pension scams, with full findings yet to be published. The regulator also plans to improve the governance and profile of Project Bloom. Meanwhile, it is consulting on its overall approach to prosecution and a new enforcement policy.
TPR recently successfully prosecuted two pension scammers who had defrauded 245 people out of £13.7m. Both were sent to jail after TPR brought criminal proceedings against them. An investigation is now looking at whether any of the money can be recovered. 
At the Pensions Administration Standards Association’s annual conference on Tuesday, executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice David Fairs spoke about the regulator’s efforts to tackle pension scams and behaviour that puts member benefits at risk. Fairs said TPR will consult on its overall approach to prosecution; this has since been published, alongside a draft enforcement policy.

Following consultation last autumn, TPR has also published its new high fines policies for its avoidance-type powers and information requirements powers.

TPR to publish findings on scam threat

Fairs said findings from its work with the Fraud Intelligence Bureau will be published “in due course”. However he added: “Today I can tell you that we found a threat that was both highly complex and sophisticated.” 
In response to recommendations by MPs that Project Bloom, the unfunded collaborative project that aims to reduce scams, should up its game, he said there are plans to improve the “governance and profile” of Project Bloom and “our own scams strategy is due in early summer”. 
Victim support, often lacking, is also set to receive a boost; Fairs said a victim support process is being established, led by the Money and Pensions Service. 

Do you expect more TPR to prosecute more often in future? 

This article was updated on 4 May 2022.

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