Legislation to ban pensions cold-calling came into force on the 9th January 2019, meaning that companies making unsolicited phone calls to people about their pensions face enforcement action, including fines of up to £500,000. The ban, introduced under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2018, received parliamentary approval last month. The regulations prohibit cold-calling in relation to pensions, except for circumstances in which the caller is authorised by the FCA, or is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme, and when the individual being contacted consents to the calls, or has an existing relationship with the caller.
Commenting on the ban, Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said: “Pension scams are despicable crimes, fleecing people of the retirement they’ve earned by doing the right thing, working hard and saving for the future. Banning pensions cold-calling will protect people from these callous crooks and ensure fraudsters feel the full force of the law.”
Scams affect people from all walks of life, with almost 11 million people each year receiving cold calls about their pension. Some fraudsters are even pretending to be staff from the Pensions Regulator. The callers offer savers a ‘free pension review’ but the Regulator has warned that they never cold-call people about their pensions.
A spokesperson for the Regulator has urged anyone else who is contacted to call Action Fraud. The spokesperson went on to advise “If anyone cold-calls you about your pension, it is an attempt to steal your savings. Just hang up.”
No one is immune, if you are concerned about you, friends or family being a victim of pensions fraud, please visit Action Fraud on https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-pension-liberation-scam
We have placed an article on the news section of the member website, and we ask scheme employers to encourage your staff to read it.