April 9: An update from the LPFA on Covid-19

What to do if you need to contact us

During these unprecedented times, we understand that worries over our loved ones and finances can be overwhelming. LPP and the LPFA would like to reassure members that we are here to support you as much as we can. We would also like to reassure members that pensions will continue to be paid. You can read more about this on the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board website (here).

As we all progress through this crisis, it’s important that LPP focuses on priority areas: ensuring that pensions are paid and ensuring that we provide support in the event of member deaths.

So, if you do need to contact us, please help us by considering if your query is urgent or not.

  • As a first step, please go to our website and our LGPS and Coronavirus FAQs. The sites provide a range of information for anyone concerned about their financial situation. These are updated and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • To make minor changes to your details, My Pension Online, our member self-service portal, is a great way to calculate your benefits or update your death grant nominees.  You can also contact us through the site. If you do, please use your personal email address. Additionally, and when using email or the contact us form, please provide your NI Number to assist our team in locating your record. 
  • If your query is urgent please continue to use the Helpdesk via Contact us.  Our opening times are 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday. Call wait times into our Pensions Helpdesk may have longer wait times and urgent calls will be prioritised.
  • Please also note we continue to work with our mail providers but there may be delays to both UK and overseas mail. We now also accept scanned copies and photocopies of birth, marriage and death certificates.

A warning to all members about scams

At a time when the nation is pulling together to support one another, we would like to warn you about the potential increase in pension scams activity taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. We set out below some hints as to how you can spot the warning signs.

In the last few weeks, an increase in fraudulent activity has been detected by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Money Advice and Pensions Service. If you are approached about an investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true or are offered the ability to ‘access your pension early’, we strongly advise you to avoid it and report it to Action Fraud.

Always be mindful of the warning signs, particularly unsolicited approaches to you, and, if in doubt, always check it out:

  1. Reject ALL unexpected offers: Be wary of cold calls - they are completely illegal.
  2. Know who you are dealing with: Always ensure you are dealing with an FCA -registered Financial Adviser. You can check their credentials at www.register.fca.org.uk
  3. Check contact details carefully: Scammers have been known to ‘clone’ legitimate financial advisers’ websites to pass themselves off as the real thing. Always use the contact details on the FCA register.
  4. Don’t be pressured: ‘Time-limited offers’ or deals that sound too good to be true normally are. Your pension is one of your most valuable possessions and a genuine Financial Adviser will never rush you into a decision.
  5. Get impartial information: Your money is your money. Never allow someone to tell you what to do with it. There are free and impartial services such as the Pensions Advisory Service, who can explain your options.
  6. Don’t waste your money on ‘Pension Liberation’ deals: The earliest you can access your pension benefits is from 55, an age set by the government. Some organisations may promise you early access to your savings, but the costs are often high and the impacts on your financial security can be significant. You can lose over 85% of your life savings with such arrangements - don’t hand your life savings to someone else for short term cash. It can cost you your future.

For more information, visit the FCA’s ScamSmart website

For member services visit YourPension Click Here or please go to the Contact Us section Here