As of June 26, the Government is still to table its proposals for a ban on pension-related cold calling.
The legislation providing for the ban, the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, has already passed into law, however the specific regulations relating to the cold calling ban have not yet been presented to Parliament. Under the terms of an amendment to the Act, if these regulations have not been presented by the end of June, then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey MP must explain the delay in the House of Commons. It is understood that the Government has had difficulty finding parliamentary time to debate the issue.
When the Act became law, it was widely reported in the media that “pension cold calling will be banned by June.”
The Government has previously said of the amendment to the Act:
“This new clause inserts a power for the Secretary of State to make regulations (subject to the affirmative procedure) banning unsolicited direct marketing relating to pensions. If the power is not exercised by June, the Secretary of State must explain to Parliament why not.”
Tom Selby, senior analyst at specialist pensions firm AJ Bell, said:
“The government needs to get its act together and ban pensions cold calling now. It is well over 18 months since the Treasury announced with some fanfare its decision to introduce the measure as part of an important package of reforms designed to protect savers. The progress since then has been depressingly slow.
“While Brexit is clearly draining time and resource from Parliament, this measure is a vital part of the fightback against the scourge of pension fraud. Indeed, I had hoped by now we would be debating further potential interventions, rather than kicking the government to implement something which should have been in place long ago.
“Hopefully this delay is simply due to a lack of time rather than anything more sinister and an effective ban will be in place shortly.”
Once it is in force, the ban will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Under the terms of the ban, firms will be prevented from making marketing calls, or sending marketing texts and emails, unless one of two exemptions applies:
- The individual is an established client of the firm making the marketing communication, or
- The individual has clearly requested information from the firm
The Government has ruled out suggestions that the cold calling ban should be extended to cover unregulated introducers – firms who would then refer the consumer to an authorised advisory firm.
The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article