The government announced at the weekend that it would ban pensions cold calling, including emails and texts, as soon as practical but gave no commitment to a firm timetable. The lack of a firm date has come in for criticism from the industry.
The PLSA says the government needs to announce a clear timetable and move with more “urgency.”
James Walsh, PLSA policy lead on Engagement, EU and Regulation, said: “While this is a step in the right direction, there is much more the Government could do to protect savers from pension scams sooner rather than later.
“People are at risk of losing their pension savings to scammers and we need a clear timetable from Government on when it will implement key elements of its proposals. We need more urgency.
“The cold calling ban, which covers all forms of electronic communication, is welcome but we are concerned that the required ‘employment link’ will simply be abused by scammers setting up all manner of fake employment relationships. The legislation later this year to ensure that only active companies can register a new scheme looks like a positive step, but – again – it will need careful implementation to ensure scammers cannot abuse it.
He said the PLSA was pleased to see the Government recognise the attraction of the “more ambitious authorisation regime” that the had PLSA proposed. He said the PLSA still believes the Government should be pursuing this now, rather than waiting to see how the Master Trust regime fares once it is introduced in 2019.
PLSA members operate over 1,300 pension schemes with 20 million members and £1 trillion in assets, covering over 400 businesses.