The Treasury has today published a “technical consultation” relating to the ban on pensions cold-calling, following criticism for missing its June deadline.
The Treasury confirmed last month the implementation of the ban would be delayed due to “technicalities”.
At that time, a Treasury spokesman said: “Following debates in parliament, and having considered evidence from the industry, we will launch a short consultation on the draft legislation to ensure it is as effective and robust as possible.”
The consultation today says: “Since the government has already consulted on the policy, this consultation is a technical consultation intended to seek final views on the draft regulations to ensure they meet our policy objectives.”
The consultation closes on 17 August, after which any amendments will be made and a response to the consultation will be published.
The Treasury is asking for responses as to whether the proposed regulations are future-proofed and if they prevent “workarounds”.
It also wants to know what the impact of the ban will be on the legitimate business of firms that undertake pensions cold-calling.
The consultation says the following calls would not be covered by the ban because they are not marketing calls: those from advisers following referrals, calls from a third-party administrator of a pension fund, calls from a provider to the beneficiary of a deceased member’s fund, and calls attempting to find “gone-aways”.
The draft regulations say that those excepted from the ban are where the person being called has consented to being contacted or where the person being called is a client of the caller and would expect to receive “unsolicited” calls regarding direct marketing in relation to their pension scheme.
They also say “direct marketing” includes reference to products or services that could be bought through the funds held in a pension scheme, the offer of advice intended to promote the transfer of funds out of a pension, and the offer of any advice or service to allow assessing the performance of a pension scheme.
Royal London pension specialist Helen Morrissey says: “The consultation says it seeks “final views” with the intention being to lay the regulations before both houses in autumn 2018 ‘subject to parliamentary timetabling’. We urge the government not to let the timetable slip any further on this vital issue.”