A new law against scammers cold-calling pension savers will be fast-tracked through the UK Parliament, says the government.
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After a barrage of criticism, ministers have decided to speed up the measure designed to make cold calling by phone, email or text message to try to persuade people to switch their pensions.
Millions of calls are made every year by fraudsters attempting to lure retirement savers to switch their money to risky schemes so they can access the cash.
The ban seemed to stall on the back-burner following the last General Election as Brexit dominates the Parliamentary timetable for new legislation.
But after a flood of protests, the Department of Work and Pensions has agreed to make the bill a priority.
Scams can cost people their savings
The law was due to go to the statute book as part of the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, but the government withdrew the move explaining the clause was rushed and did not meet the aims legislators wanted.
“The government will continue to work swiftly to implement a cold calling ban by tabling a workable amendment to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, and then making regulations to introduce the ban,” said an update published by the DWP.
“Tackling pensions cold calling is an extremely important issue. Pension scams can cost people their life savings and leave them facing retirement with limited income and little or no opportunity to build their pension savings back up.
“Officials have been working closely with stakeholders to ensure that the ban on pensions cold calling is workable and effective.”
Plans to combat crooks
The update was the government response to a report about measures to combat scammers from MPs on Parliament’s Work and Pensions Select Committee.
“The government agrees with the committee about the need to address the threat posed by pension scams by cutting off scamming activity at the source to disrupt criminals and protect savers,” said the DWP update.
“The government also agrees with the committee about the need to ensure more people can benefit from pensions guidance to help them to understand their options and make decisions that are right for them. We believe that as well as guidance, people need to access high quality information about their pension savings.”
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