Higher-educated savers are more at risk of losing their pension to fraudsters than those without the qualification. That’s what a survey of nearly 2000 people told the FCA and TPR
10% of those without a degree said they would accept such an approach, a lower proportion than those with the qualification. Some 14% of people with a degree told regulators they would accept a review from a company they did not know.
Fraudsters often target those with larger pension pots, but also find a route to their victims by offering “free pension reviews“. It would seem that a higher education is no protection from the alacrity of scammers.
Targeting mass-affluent sophisticates
The new breed of scammers appeal to higher-educated middle class Britain because they are the ones with the biggest pension pots.
And because it’s people like me who appreciate the advantages of a technology-based service. it’s those who think themselves more sophisticated, who can be most vulnerable.
Writing on her blog, Romi Savova explains
Recent analysis from The Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator found that over five million people across the UK (42%), could be at risk of getting scammed and the average loss is £82,000 per victim.
Most of these people are normal consumers, simply seeking to make the most of their money in a confusing pensions world. They are therefore susceptible to tactics that – to an industry insider – generally sound too good to be true.
At the same time, most preventative action in the industry, while generally well-intentioned, has focused on extensive paper communications, images of desolate pensioners and generally the types of things that most consumers would discard in the category of “that doesn’t apply to me” and “it all seems confusing”.
Meanwhile, scammers are known to be helpful, accessible and relatable. It is no wonder that confirmation bias leads people to make financial decisions that can cost them dearly. Timing is also key.
Warning people about scams at the point of transfer is often too late. It is important to raise the level of awareness of pension scams before a consumer is even approached.
Pentechs get ready!
If you are interested in technology and work in retirement planning – you’re a pentech and you should be blocking out 29th November in your diary for the ….
One way to raise awareness of pension scams is to devise a simple, interactive, shareable online game that can alert consumers to suspicious tactics before they are happening. If we can use technology to solve some of the biggest pension challenges we face as a society, we should also be able to come together as a sector to try and solve a problem that impacts us all: pension scams.
So it is with great hope and anticipation that we announce a Pension Scams Hackathon on 29 November 2019, where some of the most well-known companies in the PenTech space will team up to create the winning concept for a pension scams game, inspired by the “Scams and Ladders” board game.
Barclays has kindly agreed to host us at Plexal, the innovation centre in the Olympic Park. Pension Bee has invited a broad representation from the pensions industry to judge our efforts, including Michelle Cracknell CBE, Margaret Snowdon OBE (President of the Pensions Administration Standards Association), Dominic Lindley (Member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and Member of the Pensions Dashboard Industry Delivery Group) and Stephanie Baxter (Deputy Personal Finance Editor at The Telegraph), each of whom brings a unique perspective to the challenge at hand.
Want to be involved?
While the concept for the game will be developed on the day, the technology powering it and its full user experience will be built by our friends at JMAN Group, to be launched to the public in early 2020. If you would like to participate in the hackathon or if you would simply like to support our initiative, please get in touch.
This event is all about uniting behind that which makes us strong: our focus on consumers, our belief in technology and our spirit for change.
We look forward to seeing what we can achieve!
Stop press*** Stop press***Stop press*** Stop Press
And while we’re on the subject of Romi Savova
Many congratulations to Romi on this, which places her not just as our leading Pentech , but as one of Britain’s leading young entrepreneurs. A working Mum with two young kids shows that there’s no ceiling to talent, application and a thirst to make positive social impact.
— Romi Savova (@romisavova) November 7, 2019