Once regulations have passed, the Budget documents say it "will work with partners to proactively communicate the message that pensions cold calling will become illegal". Guidance to support industry – in-keeping within the law – will also be published by the ICO.
Claire Trott, head of pensions strategy at St James’s Place, comments: “It’s good to finally see the ban on pensions cold calling come to fruition with the final regulations being laid before Parliament in Autumn this year, and coming into force once approved.
“This has been a long time coming and although it won’t stop all pension scams, anything that can be done to stop even one person losing their hard-earned pension is worthwhile.”
James Jones-Tinsley, self-invested pensions technical specialist at Barnett Waddingham, adds: "It is also good to see that both the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are ‘keeping under review’ a ban on regulated firms purchasing leads obtained from (unregulated) lead generators; particularly given the stories about the ‘factory-gating’ of in-person introducers at British Steel a year ago, and the fallout that ultimately emanated from that.”
He cautions: "But their response does not provide us with a specific date for the implementation of the ban. According to my calendar, we are already well into Autumn 2018 and, given the continued domination of Brexit on parliamentary time, one hopes that the regulations that formed the basis of the consultation will not be laid just before the parliamentary Christmas break.”
Changes to DC rules
One of the Chancellor’s announcements which was leaked ahead of the Budget was about its plans to boost patient capital investing.
The government will unlock £20bn of finance for innovative high-growth firms, and has established a taskforce to address the barriers to defined contribution (DC) pension schemes investing in British businesses, under the patient capital initiative.
The FCA will publish a discussion paper by the end of 2018 to explore this, and DWP will consult in 2019 on the function of the pensions charge cap, to ensure that it does not restrict the use of performance fees within default pension schemes, while maintaining member protections.
Aegon’s Mr Cameron notes the government clearly has its eye on the £1trn DC pensions market to fund innovative high-growth firms, but warned “it must be left to trustees and scheme providers to consider, with no mandatory requirement” and “schemes need to ensure they also have sufficient liquidity”.