In the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget, Philip Hammond announced he wanted to take positive action to prevent pension scams. In the consultation recently published, he sets out three key initiatives on how the Government plans to take action:
1. Allow firms to block suspicious transfers
2. Make it more difficult for fraudsters to abuse Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs)
3. Impose a ban on cold calling
Hammond told parliament he plans to give firms 'greater powers to block suspicious transfers' and make it 'harder for scammers to open small pension schemes, in particular SSASs.
In addition, the Government is planning on introducing legislation that prevents cold calling on all pension related matters. In doing so, the Government will provide the Information Commissioner’s Office with greater powers and the ability to impose fines of up to £500,000.
The view is that by imposing a ban on high-pressured telephone calls that are designed to sell unregulated products offering high returns, it will significantly reduce the risk, investors may otherwise face.
The consultation closes on 13 February 2017.