UK - More than one in ten large UK schemes has suffered fraud over the past two years, with member transactions the most vulnerable area for fraudulent activities, research suggests.
The research - published by accountancy firm Baker Tilly - showed 12% of schemes with more than 10,000 members were hit by fraud over the last two years compared to zero incidents for schemes with less than 1,000 members.
The survey - which polled more than 170 trustees and scheme figures - also found 50% believed member transactions was the most vulnerable area to fraud.
Baker Tilly said the low incidence of the crime in small schemes could be an indication it was not being detected.
Head of pensions Ian Bell (pictured) said: "This should not necessarily be interpreted as smaller schemes being less susceptible to fraud. Larger schemes just tend to have more resources at their disposal and are therefore more likely to be able to detect frauds that have occurred."
The firm warned trustees to be on guard against fraudulent activities, saying it was a problem for all schemes no matter what their size.
Baker Tilly forensic services partner Marcus McCaffrey said: "One of the drivers behind fraud is ‘opportunity'. A potential fraudster has less ‘opportunity' in a smaller scheme because the trustees and or pensions manager are far more familiar with the individual transactions that take place and so there is a higher chance of detection.
"However, the fact is that all pension schemes are exposed to the risk of fraud and that, although the size of a scheme may be relevant, all trustees need to be aware of the risk that fraud presents."
The survey also found the problem was being taken seriously by trustees, with 85% of respondents saying fraud risk had been actively considered in the last two years at a minimum.
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