New cold-calling rules came into force on 9th January 2019. Unregulated companies are now banned from making unsolicited calls to sell pension advice.
The FCA has found that an average of £91,000 was stolen per person by pension scammers last year. Many of these scammers start with a cold call, leading to people losing their pension savings through high-risk unregulated investments.
In many cases people are promised unrealistic returns and complex investment structures where high levels of fees are taken by the scammers. Potential fines of £500,000 will be levied on persistent offenders.
The ban does not apply to firms that are regulated by the FCA, nor to companies that you have an existing relationship with, such as your IFA or pension provider.
If you receive such a call it is important to find out whether you are being called by a regulated company. If so, you are far less likely to end up becoming a victim.
You should take the name of the company and check the FCA register to ensure that they are authorised to provide pension transfer advice. Unfortunately, it is also extremely difficult to enforce overseas call centres where many of the scammers are based.
Be very suspicious if you are called out of the blue about your pension, and if in doubt give us a call.