Coronavirus 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 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 Scheme Advisory Board website (here).
As we all progress through this crisis, it’s important that LPP focuses on the priorities: ensuring that pensions are paid and ensuring that we provide support in the event of member deaths. We have been made aware that the Tell Us Once service is experiencing long delays and we would encourage you to notify us of any bereavements directly.
So, if you do need to contact us, please help us by considering if your query is urgent or not.
- As a first stop, please go to our website and visit the Local Pensions Partnership Member Website where you can read our LGPS FAQs. In addition you can view the national LGPS Member Website for general LGPS Coronavirus FAQs. The sites provide a range of information for anyone worried about their financial situation. These are updated and reviewed regularly.
- To make minor changes to your details, My Pension Online, our member self-service portal, is a great way to update your details, 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. If you do contact us via email or use the contact us form, please be sure to 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 – 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 4pm Friday, call wait times into our Pensions Helpdesk may have longer wait times and urgent calls will be prioritised. There may also be delays to both UK and overseas mail and we continue to work with our mail providers in this respect. Please note that we accept scanned copies and photocopies of birth, marriage and death certificates.
- If you have Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), it is possible the value may have reduced - this will depend on the funds you have chosen to invest in. You should contact your AVC provider for more information about this.
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 a significant increase in pension scams taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and ensure 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 and, if in doubt, always check it out and speak with family and friends:
- Reject ALL unexpected offers: Be wary of cold calls - they are completely illegal.
- Know who you are dealing with: Always ensure you are dealing with an FCA-registered Financial Adviser. Check their credentials at www.register.fca.org.uk
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 high and the impacts on your financial security are immeasurable. 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.