The UK government has announced that it is planning to introduce a ban on pensions cold calling, including emails and text messages. The ban is part of wider work to tackle pension scams and protect vulnerable savers.
Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, says: “These calls might offer a ‘free assessment of your current pension funds’, or free financial advice, for example.
“They might invite you to ‘use your private pension savings more wisely’ by transferring them into investment schemes – such as in properties overseas, storage companies or fine wines – offering low risks and high returns.
“But the harsh reality is that many are looking to target and steal your life savings. Your hard-earned retirement fund. And if you’re caught unaware, this can have a devastating impact on the future you had planned for.”
The background to the announcement is increasing concern about the level of pension scams. Figures released this week estimate that £43 million has been obtained by pension scammers since April 2014.
The cold calling ban is one of several measures planned to protect consumers. Others include tougher actions to prevent the transfer of money from an occupational pension scheme into a fraudulent one.
Retirement Line wholeheartedly welcomes the announcement. It is our view that cold calling is not appropriate in financial matters of such importance as pensions. Our approach is to promote our services in order to generate inbound enquiries. We always make it clear as part of the quotation processes on our website that we may contact enquirers to offer further assistance.
Are you concerned that someone approaching you about your pension is a scammer? Retirement Line recommends that consumers should only deal with firms that are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
We would urge consumers to check the FCA’s Financial Services Register of authorised firms before having any dealings with an organisation offering financial services. To find Retirement Line’s entry, visit the Register and enter our registered number - 726601 - in the search box. You will then find details of our permission to provide regulated products and services.
The Pensions Regulator also offers information to help you at www.pension-scams.com.