Pension cold-call ban to weed out scams
Companies making nuisance calls about pensions now face potential fines of up to £500,000 and enforcement action.
Research by the Money Advice Service suggests there are as many as eight scam calls taking place every second in the UK – 250 million calls a year.
The consequences can be devastating for victims. Pension scammers stole an average of £91,000 per victim last year, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
New roles which came into force last week prohibit cold calling in relation to pensions.
Pension scams, which can lead to people losing their life savings, often start with a cold call.
If you are contacted out of the blue about your pension, there is a high risk it is a scam.
Warning signs that the caller is a scammer include offers of “free pension reviews”, high-pressure sales tactics, complex investment structures where it is not clear where your money will end up, and promises of too-goodto-be-true returns.
T h e r e a r e s o m e exceptions to the ban, including where the caller is authorised by the FCA, or is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “Cold calling is the pension scammers’ main tactic, which is why we’ve made them illegal.”