The government has revealed it will publish draft legislation to ban pensions cold calling, including texts and emails, in early 2018.
In a response to a parliamentary written question, from MP for Hornchurch and Upminster Julia Lopez, the government said it 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,” it said.
Commenting on the response, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) police lead: engagement, EU and regulation, James Walsh said: “We have been calling on the government to show more urgency in tackling pension scams, so this indication of when we can expect draft legislation is a step in the right direction. But we are still a long way from the cold calling ban actually taking effect and the government will need to keep up the momentum.
“However, with the vast majority of defined benefit/hybrid schemes reporting transfer requests and almost a third rejecting some due to due diligence concerns, we feel that there is more that needs to be done.”
He added that the PLSA would like to see the government take a more “ambitious approach” by introducing an authorisation regime for pension schemes. This would mean only allowing transfers to schemes recognised as legitimate and trustworthy.
“Any small scheme (‘SSAS’) that wishes to receive transfers would have to include an independent trustee on its trustee board with a duty to ‘blow the whistle’ on scam-related activity. Alongside the new regulatory regime for master trusts and existing FCA regulation of many providers, this would be a big step towards shutting the scammers out of pensions,” he concluded.