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Pension-related cold calling ban comes into effect

Pension-related cold calling ban comes into effect

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Today (9 January), with Stan & Ollie due to be released at UK cinemas later this week, the cold calling ban comes into effect in relation to pensions.   Both have taken a long time to happen, but should be a success with the public.

The cold calling ban applies to unsolicited call, e-mails and text messages about pensions.  Anyone cold calling, e-mailing or texting you could face a fine of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who have the unenviable task of policing this offence.  Let us not get too excited, criminals will find ways to get round this ban, for example by telephoning, e-mailing or texting from outside the UK, or getting unsuspecting UK “employees” to do it for them.  There is too much money tied up in pensions, and it’s far too lucrative an area, for fraudsters to give up on just because making a cold calling approach to you is illegal. However, if the general public can be educated to understand that a large percentage of those carrying out call calls are doing so in an attempt to make themselves richer, at the unlucky receiver’s expense, then the ban will have achieved its aim.

After all, if you receive an unsolicited cold call, e-mail or text  from someone about your pension, and you know it’s a criminal offence for someone to contact you that way, but you still believe what they are telling you, and on their advice transfer your pension benefits to what turns out to be a scam arrangement or dodgy investment, then you have to be a bit of an Oliver Hardy and there is not much point blaming Stan Laurel (or anyone else) for the mess you got yourself into!

Oh, and by the way, whilst cold calling on pensions has not actually been illegal before today, if you are in the process of transferring your pension based on a cold call, text or e-mail, ask yourself how stupid you will feel if you go ahead with it without checking with someone independent whether you are making a fool of yourself.  The Pensions Advisory Service (part of the newly-established Single Financial Guidance Body) is an independent non-profit making company to provide free information advice and guidance to the public on pension schemes.  Free impartial help is but one phone call away (tel 0800 011 3797).  Make the call and then go and enjoy the film.

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