Since the freedoms on pensions were introduced in 2015, there has been a tenfold increase in pension scammers trying to use the opportunities of pension flexibilities to their advantage.
One of the most obvious, but effective, ways in which they work is cold calling. This has become such a problem that the Department for Work and Pensions is holding a consultation on this threat until the middle of February. Their proposals include the following:
- to ban cold calling
- to restrict how and to whom people transfer their pensions, to ensure that the schemes are legitimate
- to make it harder for fraudsters to set up pension schemes that are likely to be used for scamming.
A ban on cold calling regarding pensions would definitely be beneficial; in fact, a ban on cold calling in general would be excellent! But if you know that you will never be called about your pension you can be sure that if you do receive a call, it is not genuine.
Please be extra vigilant if people contact you about your pension. In particular, look out for those who claim they have been “instructed by the government” to offer free pension reviews, or those who offer a loophole that means you can access your pension before the age of 55 … because this simply is not true.
As always, if you are unsure about any calls or communications you have received then please contact us before taking any action.