Pension Freedom  

Cold calling legislation to come in early 2018

Cold calling legislation to come in early 2018

The government has announced the cold calling ban legislation will be presented in “early 2018”.

Several pension experts, including former minister Ros Altmann, were urging the government to legislate on this matter as soon as possible.

The government's plan to introduce a ban on cold-callers who try to scam people out of their pension savings, which will include emails and texts, was announced on 21 August.

It will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

In a written answer to Conservative MP Julia Lopez, Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to HMTreasury, said: "The government is committed to banning pensions cold-calling.

"Following a consultation, the government will bring forward draft legislation for scrutiny to ban pensions cold-calling, including texts and emails, in early 2018.

"It will then legislate on a ban as soon as Parliamentary time allows.”

According to the latest figures from the government, almost £5m was obtained by pension scammers in the first five months of 2017.

It is estimated that £43m has also been unlawfully obtained by scammers since April 2014, with those targeted having lost an average of nearly £15,000.

However Margaret Snowdon, chair of the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA), has said that pension savers have lost more than £1bn to scams, since “official statistics can really be under reported”.

Ms Snowdon described this value as “the very tip of the iceberg”, since the full extent of the crisis will not be revealed for at least 20 years, until people reach retirement and realise their retirement savings have been stolen.

maria.espadinha@ft.com