Finally, amid several delays, it has been announced that a ban on pension cold calling is now in force.
Cold-calling is a common tactic used by scammers to commit pensions fraud, with an estimated eight scam calls being made every second - or 250 million a year - costing victims an average of £91,000 each. Something clearly had to be done.
Well now it has. As of 09 January 2019, all unsolicited calls about pensions are now illegal, and companies breaking the rules could face fines of up to £500,000.
The only exceptions to this rule are cases where the caller is FCA-authorised, a trustee or manager of an occupational pension, or if you consent to the calls or have an existing relationship with the caller.
Though the ban is expected to discourage some cold-calling activity, it is important to remain alert to potential scams. Criminals are not known for being good at sticking to the rules and the most committed fraudsters will just ignore the ban.
If you receive a cold call about your pension, gather as much information as you can, such as the company name and phone number, and report it to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Cold calls are not the only type of scam used by pension fraudsters - they may also attempt to use texts, emails and social media messages.
While on the subject of fraud and scams, be alert too for unexpected contacts from HMRC offering tax rebates or saying that you owe money. HMRC says it will never use emails, texts or social media to notify you about a rebate or ask for personal information.
If you're unsure or suspicious of a message you receive, you can report it to [email protected] - or ask us about any correspondence from HMRC.
Get in touch
If you want advice on your own pension, we can help - give us a call on 01483 205890.