Autumn Budget 2018: The government has confirmed that it will be introducing new legislation to make pensions cold calling illegal.
In Monday’s Autumn Budget 2018 speech, chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) announced that the government will shortly be implementing legislation to make pensions cold calling illegal.
Alongside the Budget, it is also due to publish a response to its consultation on pensions cold calling to help protect pension members from pension fraud; cold calling is one of the most common methods used to initiate pension scams.
Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “Finally, subject to Parliamentary approval, the government is going to implement the ban on pension cold calling. Although we still haven’t got a date, we welcome this commitment and are hopeful the ban will become a reality sooner rather than later.
“The pension cold calling ban has been long-time coming and although it won’t be the panacea, a ban will go some way to protecting people from pension scammers.
“For the ban to be effective, it needs to be accompanied by a public awareness campaign. So, we’re pleased to see that the government will work with partners to make sure people are aware that pension cold calling will be illegal, once the ban is in place.”
Jonathan Watts-Lay, director at Wealth at Work, added: “It’s time to send a clear message to pension scammers that this will not be tolerated, so the sooner this ban is implemented the better. However, once the ban is in place, employees will still need to be alert as it’s not going to stop all fraudsters including those who are calling from overseas.
“Those who are approaching retirement are an attractive target as they have access to potentially large amounts of money, which is why we are urging employers to help employees understand the dangers by raising awareness of this issue.”
In addition, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will also investigate improving pensions provision for the self-employed. This winter, the DWP will publish a paper outlining the government’s approach to increasing pension participation and savings persistency among the self-employed.
Following on from the 2017 review of auto-enrolment, the new paper will focus on expanding evidence through a programme of targeted interventions and partnerships.
Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This winter the DWP will publish a paper setting out the government’s approach to increasing pension participation and savings persistency among the self-employed. The self-employed have been left behind by pensions auto-enrolment and don’t get the boost of employer contributions, so their retirement savings are in dire need of some attention.”