A ban on pensions cold-calling will be put in place by June, following the tabling of new amendments to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill.
Ahead of the Commons report stage of the Bill on 12 March a “new clause 3” allows for the ban to start by the middle of the year.
The Government also tabled amendments to clause 19, which relates to pension guidance.
Amendment 13 requires pension schemes to make sure someone wanting to access their pension savings is “referred to appropriate pensions guidance” and “has either received appropriate pensions guidance or has opted out of receiving such guidance”.
Amendments 13 and 14 remove the reference to independent financial advice. According to a statement from the work and pensions select committee this is make sure savers are directed towards the independent guidance service.
Amendment 15 says the FCA’s rules should detail how people will indicate they have received guidance or expressly opted out.
Work and pensions committee chair Frank Field says: “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.”
Field says: “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.”