Today we’ve co-published our new guide “COVID-19 and your pension - where to get help” to reassure you if you’re concerned about the impact of the pandemic on your retirement.
The current crisis and economic uncertainty will have left many people worried about their finances and whether their pension is safe.
This is why we’ve joined forces with six other pension bodies to answer key questions and pull together important advice into one, easy-to-read, downloadable guide.
It explains how we work with our colleagues across the industry to support savers and protect pensions. It also shows you how to protect yourself against pensions scams.
The collaboration is the result of our joint efforts with the Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the Money and Pensions Service, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pensions Regulator.
As Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman says in his introduction to the guide;
“We find ourselves in a period of great uncertainty. But across the board, pensions bodies are doing everything they can to help you get through these difficult times.”
In support of this, our Chief Executive, Oliver Morley, adds, “It’s really important that those saving into any scheme are aware of the measures that are in place to protect them. I’m delighted that we’re coming together with our partners across the industry to reinforce this message and launch this guide today.”
What’s included in the guide
You’ll find useful information on how your pension is protected and how you can avoid scams during the COVID-19 pandemic, including answers to the following questions:
- What happens to my pensions contributions if I’ve been furloughed?
- Is my pension protected by the PPF?
- How can the Pensions Ombudsman help me?
- How do I protect myself from pensions scams?
- Is it safe to move my pension?
Support and advice from our partners
“For people thinking about their pension, free specialist guidance is available from The Pensions Advisory Service on 0800 011 3797 and Pension Wise online. A small amount of time on a call with a pension specialist could make the key difference in helping people avoid decisions which could put the savings they have built up over their working lives at risk. We know scammers will try to take advantage of the situation so you should be suspicious of any unexpected approach.” —Charlotte Jackson, Head of Pensions Operations and Consumer Protection at the Money and Pensions Service
“In these challenging times, it is important that people know where to turn to for help when they are having problems with their pension. Our staff are all working remotely to ensure our service operates as normal, and our phonelines are open from 9.00am to 5.00pm. At present we are unable to receive post, but we can accept online applications, in respect of new complaints, and email enquiries. I would like to reassure you that, wherever possible, we will be using our discretion to expand our time limits for those affected by the Covid-19 crisis.”—Anthony Arter, the Pensions Ombudsman
“By working together, all organisations whose goal it is to protect savers are at their most effective, and so I welcome this guide as a useful tool to drive confidence in pensions. Among the biggest threats to pensions are scammers, and the guide gives important advice to savers on how to protect themselves, particularly as we battle through the COVID crisis. By helping savers spot the signs of a scam and highlighting where they can get advice, guidance and support, including by telephone and online, we hope to stop scammers in their tracks.” —Charles Counsell, Chief Executive of The Pensions Regulator
“With current market volatility, it is understandable that some individuals may be concerned about their pension pots and how they are invested. At times like this, it is more important than ever for consumers to seek out proper financial advice before making decisions that could damage their long-term interests. Consumers shouldn’t rush decisions about their pensions, and should visit our ScamSmart website to protect themselves from pension scams." —Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority
“It is especially important during times of uncertainty for consumers to know that FSCS is there when our customers need us the most, to get them back on track. We hope this guidance will help people to understand that their pensions are protected.” —Caroline Rainbird, Chief Executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme