Ban on pensions cold-calling takes effect

From 9 January 2019, the government’s new ban on pensions cold-calling takes effect.

Making unsolicited calls in regard to pensions is now illegal, and any business found to be breaking the law will face fines of up to £500,000.

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Data published by the Money Advice Service recently revealed that as many as eight scam calls are made every second in the UK, totalling 250 million unwelcome calls per year.

Meanwhile, research conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suggested that pension scammers stole an average of £91,000 per victim in 2018.

Commenting on the ban, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘Pension scammers are the lowest of the low. They rob savers of their hard-earned retirement and devastate lives. We know that cold-calling is the pension scammers’ main tactic, which is why we’ve made them illegal.

‘If you receive an unwanted call from an unknown caller about your pension, get as much information you can and report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).’

The ICO website can be accessed here.

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Government to create new financial guidance service

The Money Advice Service (MAS) is set to be replaced by a new financial guidance service, the Government has announced.

financial-guidance

The new service will also replace the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise, and will provide consumers with pension advice.

The Government had considered creating two separate bodies to replace the MAS and other pension services.

However, industry and consumer finance groups raised concerns over how the bodies would work together.

Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, commented: ‘Our Government wants to give ordinary people more control over their lives, and that includes their financial security. We strongly believe that creating one public body is the best way of making it as easy as possible for people to access the help they need to get their financial questions answered.’

The new service, which will offer debt and money advice alongside pension information, is currently nameless, and a timetable for introducing the body has not yet been given.

The Government intends to consult on the best way to design a model for the service.