Ban on pension cold-calling could be implemented by June

An amendment included in the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill could see the ban on pension cold calling brought in by June 2018.

Set to reach the House of Commons reporting stage on 12 March, the Bill now includes ‘clause 3’, which allows for the ban to come into effect from the middle of this year.

Tabled amendments were also scheduled for clause 19; this relates to pension guidance, with an aim to increase understanding around saving for later life.

Amendment 13 sets out the need for people to be “referred to appropriate pensions guidance” if they wish to access their pension savings.

The reference to independent financial advice has also been removed by amendments 13 and 14, a change which the work and pensions select committee aim will ensure savers are directed towards the guidance service.

Amendment 15 relates to rules from the Financial Conduct Authority, stating that the organisation should provide detail over how people will indicate whether they’ve received the guidance or have opted out.

Commenting on the amendments was Frank Field. The work and pensions committee chair stated: “The Government is now almost there, within spitting distance of what the committee proposed. I am delighted that they will be bringing forward a ban on pensions cold calling by June, as we called for. This represents a major leap forward in the urgent fight to protect pensioners’ savings against scams and sharp practice.

“The Government can now give even greater reassurance by explicitly specifying on the face of the Bill, rather than in an explanatory memo, that the public guidance body will be the sole source of the “appropriate pensions guidance”. Guidance must come from independent and impartial experts, rather than from self-interested pension providers, if individuals are to make the best use of their savings.”

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