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23 Aug 2017

Pension cold calling to be banned

A ban on all forms of pension cold calling, including emails and text messages, has been announced by the UK Government to help protect private pension savers from fraudsters.

The move has been welcomed by Citizens Advice, whose own research found that as many as 10.9 million people received unsolicited calls, emails and texts about their pensions in 2016 alone.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of the charity, said: “Introducing an outright ban on pension cold calls will help protect people´s life savings.

“Pension scams can rob people of tens of thousands of pounds, ruin their retirement plans and threaten their financial security in the long-term.

“Banning unsolicited calls — a move Citizens Advice has been calling for — will make it much easier for people to spot a pension scam, and should put fraudsters off making contact out of the blue in the first place.”

In addition to the cold calling ban, the new measures will tighten HMRC rules to stop scammers opening fraudulent pension schemes.

The Government will also make it harder for consumers to transfer money into unregulated pension schemes.

Figures released this week reveal that almost £5m was obtained by pension scammers in the first five months of 2017.

An estimated £43m has been unlawfully obtained by scammers since April 2014, with those targeted having lost an average of nearly £15,000, as scammers try to encourage savers to part with their money with false promises of low-risk, high-return investment opportunities, the Department for Work and Pensions said.

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman said that the figures highlight the extent to which people´s savings are being targeted and stolen through “elaborate hoaxes” — leaving them with little opportunity to build up their savings again.

He added: “If people have saved for a private pension, we want to protect them. This is the biggest lifesaving that individuals normally make over many years of hard work. By tackling these scammers, people should know that cold calling, apart from exceptional circumstances, is banned.”

Copyright © M2 Bespoke 2017

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