Cold calls have, unfortunately, become a way of life. Whilst some controls have been put in place over recent years to try to reduce the number received (for example, GDPR regulations were launched in 2018, and you can register with the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of unsolicited contact), they continue.
Whilst some cold calls can just be seen as an inconvenience, many people have suffered by following inappropriate pensions advice from unsolicited telephone calls – resulting in the loss of significant sums of money, which could have a notable effect on their standard of living in retirement. Inappropriate actions could include losing valuable guarantees by transferring the pension to a new scheme, or incurring high costs and/or increased risks by investing in more speculative investments.
In the Autumn of 2016 the government committed to consulting on a ban on pensions cold calling, with the consultation subsequently being launched in December 2016. There was little disagreement with the proposed interventions, and the response to the consultation (including the proposed approach to the ban) was published in August 2017. Legislative changes needed to be made to push the ban through, and these were included in Section 21 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 10 May 2018 . Whilst the intention was to introduce the ban in June 2018, this was delayed whilst the Treasury consulted on further technicalities, but the ban was finally approved on 18 December 2018, and is expected to become effective early in 2019.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the official, free central opt-out register for unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so. If you would like to register with their service, it can be done via their website at www.tpsonline.org.uk.