Back to news 29 August 2017

Pensions scams: Ban on cold calling

The UK Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions recently issued a consultation that aimed at countering pension scams. Following feedback from the consultation that closed on 13 February 2017, the Government has confirmed that it will introduce a ban on cold calling, the most common method used to initiate pension fraud.

The ban is intended to send a clear message to consumers that no legitimate firm will ever cold call them about their pension. The Government believes that this will cut off the main mechanism used by fraudsters to persuade people that they are offering legitimate pension investments and services, in turn reducing the number of requests to transfer to illegitimate schemes.

The ban will not be limited to transfers between pension schemes. It will also cover calls where fraudsters encourage individuals to release funds from their pension and transfer them to a bank account, before investing them in inappropriate financial products (referred to as “investment fraud”).

Following feedback on the consultation, the ban will not just cover telephone calls but will be extended to all electronic communications about pensions, including emails and text messages.

Next steps

The ban will be enforced by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which currently regulates firms that make direct marketing calls. The Government will work with the ICO to ensure that consumers will be able to report cold calls easily.

The Government plans to work on the “final and complex details” of the ban during the course of 2017, and will introduce legislation to implement the ban “when Parliamentary time allows”.


Article extracted from Sackers 'Alert' of 23/8/2017