Coronavirus has put many things on hold at the moment. Businesses across the world have closed and many operational plans have either been delayed or outright cancelled. This will obviously have a knock on effect for individuals.
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This will be worrying for certain members of the population who depend on certain organisations to provide them with income.
Pensioners will likely receive their payments via third party administrators who manage some of their retirement assets.
The Pension Advisory Service detailed that while these types of companies will be facing huge pressures, there should be procedures in place to mitigate the damage.
As they explain: “The Coronavirus pandemic is placing huge additional pressures on the administration of pension schemes.
“We know that pension providers/scheme administrators are actively monitoring the situation, maintaining operations and have made changes to their working arrangements in line with Government guidance.”
While some people may worry that firms may prioritise simply keeping the lights on, the advisory service go on to detail that pension benefits will be the main focus: “Whilst many offices are closed, pension schemes will have processes in place to ensure benefits continue to be paid and are still being put into payment.
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“Payments of benefits, retirement processing and bereavement services are being actively prioritised to ensure these vital services are maintained throughout this period.”
They go on to warn that it is still likely that response times will falter as everyone adapts to the new circumstances.
On top of this, they detail that methods of contacting pension providers could be reduced.
If this is the case, they advise checking the company’s website which will likely be kept up to date with the most relevant information.
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Fortunately, the Pension Advisory Service highlights that coronavirus is unlikely to halt their own services and support.
The organisation can help with all types of pension issues such as tracking a pension down, help with annuity decisions and even scam advice.
That final point is particularly important at the moment as fraudsters have had no problem taking advantage of coronavirus.
Pension scams are a common problem but these new dynamics could exacerbate the issue further.
The Pension Advisory Service report on some worrying trends: “Unfortunately the current situation around market uncertainty means we are hearing reports of people being encouraged or scammed into taking their money out of their pension pots.
“Taking this action without fully understanding the consequences is a significant risk.”
The service provides a free tool for identifying scams and this is not the only option people have.
There are many impartial organisations which provide useful advice and guidance on scams of all kinds which can include the Money Advice Service, Citizens Advice and Action Fraud.
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