How Well Do You Understand Pension Freedoms?



The Work and Pensions Select Committee has urged the Government to include a ban on pension cold calls in its Financial Claims and Guidance Bill, which is due its second reading in January. The Committee is also calling for mandatory guidance to be sought by consumers before they can access their pension savings.


The number of people being affected by pension scams has been on the rise since the pension freedoms reforms were introduced in 2015. These scams involve high risk investments in schemes such as overseas property, diamonds, forestry and storage units. Rt Hon Frank Field MP, the Chair of the Committee, stated:


“Every day that passes without a ban, people are being unavoidably scammed out of their life savings.”


A similar ban on mortgage cold calls has been in place for some time. The Committee believes a ban on pension cold calling will provide an active defence against scammers. It also wants the public to seek guidance by default or actively opt out before drawing their pension. Mr Field went on:


“The strongest weapon in the armoury against this is good advice and guidance - people just aren’t taking it. Making guidance the default option combined with the ban on cold calling would be a simple but big step forward in consumer protection in the era of pension freedoms.”


Commenting on the announcement, Gary Slater, director of D&G Independent, said:


“We are hearing more and more reports of ordinary people being scammed and losing their life savings. We urge consumers not to act on information received via an unsolicited call, email or letter. We need to raise awareness so people can access correct and regulated advice. Our message is simple; if you receive a cold call related to pension or financial advice, put the phone down! If you wish to discuss your finances, seek professional advice from a FCA regulated adviser.”


D&G Independent Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA, and has the correct permissions from the regulatory body to provide advice on all aspects of pensions, including Occupational Pension Transfers and Pension Opt Outs. If you would like more advice about this alert or wish to review your current pension arrangements, we can offer professional, impartial advice. Please call 01352 754272 or email to arrange a consultation.




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