20th April 2017
The pension industry has warned that the election could delay government action on pension cold callers. A consultation from the Department for Work and Pensions, due “in Spring”, could be pushed back, A. J. Bell has warned and says this could put millions of savers at risk.
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, says: “The momentum behind banning pensions cold-calling and taking the fight to scammers more broadly seemed unstoppable ahead of the Autumn Statement last year. But five months on from the announcement of a long overdue clampdown on fraudsters, the Government has still not confirmed when the ban will be introduced or how other measures will be implemented.
“The Brexit preparations already risked sapping Treasury time and energy away from this important work. With a snap election now on the horizon, we are deeply concerned this vital consultation will be kicked into the long grass.
“This must not happen. The industry, advisers and regulators have already stepped up efforts to inform and educate the public about the risks of pension scams. While such work can be effective, only the Government can put in place barriers to the business models used by these firms to fleece often vulnerable savers out of their hard-earned pensions. Every day firm action is delayed puts more savers at risk of falling victim to fraudsters.
Darren Cooke, chartered financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning, launched the petition which eventually led to the Government announcing the ban on pensions cold-calling in November 2016.
He says: “The regulatory bodies have stepped up their efforts to warn people of the dangers of cold-calling and scams but we need the ban to be in place to send that definite message to the public to just hang up on a cold call. We must continue to push for the legislation to be on the statute books as soon as possible to protect the public – every day of delay more people will lose their money and their financial future.”