PSIG ‘unsustainable in current form’; launches consultation on its future

The Pensions Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has published a consultation aimed at determining the future of the organisation.

It will seek views from pension trustees, advisers, administrators, and others helping protect members from scams on the value provided by PSIG, its possible future direction, and how this could be achieved including potential funding options.

PSIG chair, Margaret Snowdon OBE, stated that the organisation was ultimately unsustainable in its current form and, without a basic infrastructure, the burden on its volunteers was “considerable”.

The consultation consists of two parts: The potential value offered by PSIG and potential funding options.

PSIG stated that it aims to deliver the maximum possible value for the lowest cost, whether this results in the value provided being restricted by available funding, or lower funding requirements if not all of its potential services are valued.

PSIG chair, Margaret Snowdon OBE, said that it was often the case that the value of an independent body can often be taken for granted, as people do not understand the level of commitment required and the volume of work involved.

“We are willing to keep going, we want to keep protecting members from losing their hard-earned pensions by helping the industry to combat the scammers, but we need more help,” she stated. “It’s really up to the industry now to decide.”

Snowdon noted that when PSIG was launched 10 years ago, its intention was to get to a point where it was no longer needed, whereby scamming had been addressed and it was no longer a serious threat, with the industry following good practice.

“We have been tremendously successful,” Snowdon continued. “We developed and launched our first Code of Good Practice in 2015 and have continued to update and maintain it.

“Our Pension Scams Industry Forum has a membership approaching 100 organisations and meets regularly to share information on threats relating to scams and we successfully set out the need for regulations to give trustees and providers greater power to stop scam transfers. We are currently working with the Department for Work and Pensions in the review of these regulations to improve their effectiveness.

“Just like any independent organisation it is critical for good governance to assess if what we are doing is beneficial, fit for purpose and valued. It is also important to really look at what has been done so far, and what could be done and what that would take to succeed.”

She stressed that PSIG was a voluntary organisation, and that its volunteers had worked tirelessly to produce guides and codes of practice to support the industry and government.

“We have set the standard, so we now need to decide whether we’ve done enough, whether we continue our work, or in fact whether we need to develop it further,” Snowdon said.

“To continue to address the evolution of scamming on behalf of the industry, we need resources, and we urge industry to complete the survey and feedback to us.”

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