The Government has introduced a ban on pension cold calling following increasing demand, after a growing number of people fell victim to scammers.
It’s now illegal for anyone to make unsolicited cold-calls to you regarding your pensions.
Treasury Minister John Glen described cold calling as the "most common method" to begin pension fraud.
Some victims have lost thousands of pounds in pension savings right when they need it most. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reported that on average, people lost £91,000 each, last year alone.
However, you do still need to be vigilant.
The ban can’t stop fraudsters calling, particularly as it’s one of the most common ways criminals target people. Plus, when they call from overseas, there’s little that a UK ban can do.
What it can do is highlight that any calls you do get, which you haven’t requested or isn’t from your own financial adviser or pension company, are most likely cold calls from a scammer, regardless of how persuasive they sound.
But there’s good news.
Cold callers ignoring the ban will face up to £500,000 in fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is an organisation that upholds information rights in the public interest.
Who Can Call Me?
Even genuine firms must have permission before they can call you. This means, the only people legally allowed to call about your pension include:
- Those registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, whom you already have a relationship with - so your financial adviser
- Someone acting on behalf of those overseeing your pension plan
- Those you’ve given consent to call you, this includes entering your info into a site that provides information on financial advisers in your area
Anything other than this is illegal and could be a scam.
What Should I Do if I Get a Cold Call?
This new legislation should allow the ICO to bring cold callers to account for their actions and stop more people losing their hard-earned money to fraud.
6 top tips:
- Make a note of the phone number calling you
- Don’t give out personal information, no matter how persuasive they are
- Hang up
- Contact the ICO online or by calling 0303 123 1113
- If you’ve become a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud online or calling 0300 123 2040
- Read our Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Pension Scam
Spread The Word
It’s only by reporting these criminals this legislation can work. If they’re brought to justice, more of you can keep your pensions for what they’re meant for – living the retirement lifestyle you deserve.
As pension and retirement specialists authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and with the additional permissions to advise on Defined Benefit and Final Salary Pension Transfers, we’re the ideal people to help you get the retirement lifestyle you deserve.