Pensions cold-calling ban now in force
Since 9 January 2019 it has become illegal to ‘cold-call’ anyone in relation to their pension savings. This means if you are contacted by someone out of the blue who wants to talk to you about your pension and you’ve had no previous client relationship them, the chances are that they are breaking the law.
The ban came about after a great deal of concern about ‘scammers’ who have previously used cold-calling as a way to trick people approaching retirement into making high-risk investments or to steal their pension savings. The new ban means that companies who break this law could face fines of up to £500,000.
There are only two occasions when companies are legally allowed to call you about your pension savings:
if you have previously given the caller your permission to receive direct marketing calls; or
- if you already have a client relationship with the caller and it’s reasonable to assume that they would get in touch with you about your pension (i.e. they work within the industry and have previously advised you on another financial matter or you have contacted them to ask for advice).
In both of these cases the person must also either be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or be a pension fund Trustee or Manager of a personal or workplace pension scheme.
Read the FCA’s advice on how to avoid pension scams.
Please take care when making any decisions about your pension savings. If you receive a call about your pension savings that you’re unsure about, make sure that you don’t share any personal information at all. Instead, ask the caller who they are, where they are calling from and take their contact details. You can look them up on the Financial Services Register to check that they are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority at register.fca.org.uk and double check their contact details.
You can report a cold call to the Information Commissioner’s office website or by calling 0303 123 1113.
You can read more about the ban and what to do if you think you’ve been cold-called illegally at www.gov.uk/government/news/pensions-cold-calling-banned.