From 9 January 2019, companies making unsolicited calls to people about their pensions will face enforcement action. This includes fines of up to half a million pounds.
The savings which people have made towards their pensions are amongst the largest financial asset that most will possess. People have worked hard and made provision for retirement, but unfortunately there are criminals who see this as a target, something they can steal for their own benefit. Unfortunately, one of the ways that criminals do this is by cold-calling individuals. It is by no means a minor activity. The Money Advice Service research says as many as 8 scam calls can be generated in a second, and that is the equivalent of 250 million calls a year.
Pensions fraud can be devastating for the victims. They may not have the means to fund their retirement. It is extremely difficult to rebuild their stolen savings.
What should you or someone you know do if someone unknown to you makes a cold call?
You can take action. Get as much information as you can, such as the company name or the telephone number. Then report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office – either online at https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/nuisance-calls-and-messages or call them on 0303 123 1113.
If you think you have been the victim of fraud, this can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Anyone seeking help about their pension can visit Pension Wise on https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk. This is a free and impartial service with information about the options open to you.
Reputable companies with which you are already in contact and which you know will not be affected. I would say that it is the criminals who gather like wasps around a jam pot who will be tackled, but that would be unfair to wasps!
[This article was previously published in the Bucks Free Press]