Wednesday, 07 March 2018 08:30

Planner-backed pensions cold call ban moves closer

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MPs are set to back a pensions cold call ban MPs are set to back a pensions cold call ban

The long-awaited ban on pensions cold calling may come into effect this year as early as June after the government committed to legislation to introduce the measure.

After campaigning by MPs and other industry figures including leading Financial Planners, the Department for Work and Pensions has decided to introduce an amendment to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill currently going through Parliament.

Assuming the bill is passed by Parliament and given Royal Asset, the crackdown on pensions cold calling could be introduced by the summer.

A separate amendment to the bill would require pensions guidance to be offered to everyone looking to access their pensions savings although there is no guarantee this would be independent financial advice. It is more likely that pension savers would be referred to government services such as Pensions Wise in the first instance.

Financial Planners have been at the forefront of the campaign to ban cold calling firms from chasing consumers able to use the pension freedoms from age 55.

In 2016's Autumn Statement Chancellor Philip Hammond said measures examining how unsolicited phone calls could be outlawed would be investigated after a campaign by Chartered Financial Planner Darren Cooke, who set up a petition which won widespread industry backing.

It won the support of ex-Pensions Ministers Ros Altmann and Steve Webb and firms such as Royal London, Zurich and Aegon.

The initial sponsors of the petition included a number of Financial Planners and among the first five were: Martin Bamford, of Informed Choice, Scott Gallacher, of Rowley Turton, Al Rush, of Fiver a Day, Chris Daems, of Cervello and Phillip Bray, of Sense Network.

Mr Cooke said at the time: “Banning cold calling would dramatically reduce the number of people falling prey to fraudsters and losing their savings and pensions.”

Frank Field MP, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said the crackdown on pensions cold calling was in line with the committee’s recommendations and was now closer.

The government had previously committed to a ban on pensions cold calling but had been reluctant to commit to a deadline for implementing the measure.

 

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