NewsPress Release Publication date February 26, 2019

Pension cold callers frozen out by law

Pension cold callers frozen out by law

After much campaigning for tougher regulation, unsolicited calls about your pension became illegal in January 2019. This is great news and added reassurance for pension policyholders everywhere. Companies that make unwanted, unsolicited phone calls to people about their pensions may face enforcement action, including fines of up to £500,000.

The ban prohibits all cold calling in relation to pensions, except where:

- the caller is authorised by the FCA, or is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme

- the recipient of the call consents to calls, or has an existing relationship with the caller

How will the ban help?

Cold-calling is one of the most common methods used to commit pension fraud. Research by the Money Advice Service suggests there could be up to eight scam calls a second – equivalent to 250 million calls per year.

In just one example cited by The Pension Regulator in December 2018, six people were being questioned by police after 370 people were believed to have unwittingly transferred around £18million into 8 pension schemes in a suspected fraud operation. The cold calling ban should help to drastically reduce and neutralise this kind of threat to pension holders and their savings.

Following the legislation, there has been increased pressure for a public awareness campaign to ensure the law is fully understood and enforced.

How to deal with cold calls

If you receive a cold call about your pension, get any information you can, such as the company name or phone number, and report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office via their website or on 0303 123 1113.

If you are not able to get any information about who is calling then the best thing you can do is to hang up.

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