The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans are working together to get out the word about two new online resources to help companies and their older workers protect themselves from early retirement scams.
The employer resource, “Help Your Employees Achieve Their Retirement Dream: Tips for Spotting Early Retirement Scams,” offers tips on evaluating the financial professionals involved in early retirement seminars and the seminar materials such as invitations, slides, handouts, and scripts.
Company representatives may also refer early retirement seminar materials to FINRA for review if they have concerns. FINRA staff will review all seminar materials referred and inform the company whether the materials are consistent with applicable standards, according to a release.
A second resource, “Early Retirement Seminars 101: Smart Tips for Spotting Retirement Scams,’ alerts employees to the pitfalls of early retirement schemes.
“After helping employees lay the groundwork for financial independence in retirement through company-sponsored plans, companies don’t want to unwittingly help scamsters lure their employees into an early—and financially perilous—retirement,” said FINRA CEO Mary L. Schapiro, in the release. “While many third-party seminars offer solid information, others—especially those that promote early retirement—may include misleading, even fraudulent promises of big financial returns and the dream of a comfortable, but ultimately unsustainable, retirement lifestyle.”
The materials are available at www.finra.org/investor and www.ifebp.org/FinancialLiteracyResources.