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Treasury to ban pension cold calling

The government will also introduce measures to help firms stop suspicious transfers.

Treasury to ban pension cold calling

The Treasury will announce a ban on pension cold calling at next week’s Autumn Statement.

The move comes following the petition started by IFA Darren Cooke, which has now garnered over 7,000 signatures as well as support from firms such as Royal London and Hargreaves Lansdown.

The petition was first reported by New Model Adviser® in September.

In a statement released today, the Treasury said: ‘Almost 11 million pensioners are being targeted annually by cold callers, with savers reporting estimated losses of almost £19 million to pension scams between April 2015 and March 2016.

‘Cold calls often present scams as unique investment opportunities, such as investing your pension pot in a new hotel in an exotic location or in various ‘ethical’ projects that promise massive returns.’

The release from the Treasury said the proposals would forbid calls where there is no existing relationship with a business and an individual. And this will include scammers who get people to opt-in through third party communication.

However this measure will go further and will also include giving firms more power to block suspicious transfers.

There will also be a measure announced to stop small self-administered schemes (SSAS) using dormant companies as their sponsoring employers.

Steve Webb, former pensions minister and policy director of Royal London, said the measures were ‘very welcome’ particularly as they went beyond just a ban on cold calling.

‘It is also very good news that the government is looking at how to support firms who suspect that a proposed pension transfer would not be in the interests of the policy holder,’ he said. ‘Royal London has been calling for increased powers after a recent court case made it harder for firms to block questionable transfers.’

The news was also welcomed by former pensions minister Ros Altmann.

‘Well done Philip Hammond - we have to do whatever we can to protect the public against fraudsters,’ she said. ‘Vulnerable elderly people are being called and offered free pension reviews which lead to them losing their entire life savings.’ 

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