Scammers start impersonating the Pension Regulator in cold calls

The ban on cold calling was due to be in place in June 2018. Although the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which makes provision for the ban, received Royal Assent on 10 May 2018, the necessary regulations were not in place in time. It has now been delayed until Autumn 2018.

A Treasury spokesperson said:

“We’re committed to introducing a ban on pensions cold calling as quickly as possible. Following debates in parliament, and having considered evidence from the industry, we will launch a short consultation on the draft legislation to ensure it is as effective and robust as possible. We intend to lay the required regulations before Parliament this autumn.”

In the meantime, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) announced that it has received reports of pension holders being cold-called by individuals who have posed as TPR staff and offered the workers a ‘free pension review’.

Only two reports have been received to date, however the TPR are concerned more may be taking place without being reported. They are keen to stress that they would never cold call people about their pensions, and are taking swift action to alert consumers.

Warning signs of a potential scam

The TPR have issued the following five signs of a scam to be aware of. In light of the delay in banning cold calling, employers may wish to communicate this with their staff:

  1. A free pension review
  2. The promise of guaranteed returns on your investment
  3. Low tax/tax free rates, including tax-fee lump sums
  4. Exotic sounding and/or overseas investments
  5. Pressure to sign up quickly to avoid missing out

Further advice from Mike Broomfield who is TPR’s Head of Intelligence is:

“If anyone cold-calls you about your pension, it is an attempt to steal your savings. Just hang up.”