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MPs call for pensions cold call ban by summer 2018

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MPs call for pensions cold call ban by summer 2018

MPs on the influential Work and Pensions Select Committee have called on the government to urgently implement a ban on cold calling, saying it could be bolted on to a bill currently going through parliament. 

In a paper the committee also suggested making the public either take, or expressly opt out of, mandatory guidance before they can access their pension pot.

The committee wants a cold calling ban to be added to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill . 

The proposal represents a bid to combat the growing danger of pension scams and inappropriate pension transfers. 

Committee chairman Frank Field said: 'Every day that passes without a ban, people are being avoidably conned out of their life savings. There is no need to overcomplicate this: our proposal would see an enforceable ban in place by summer, closing at least one door on rafts of scammers at a stroke.'

Field also suggested that low saver engagement and high transfer values render pensions an ideal hunting ground, and that the strongest defence against this is 'good advice and guidance'. 

He added: 'Making guidance the default option combined with the ban on cold calling would be a simple but big step forward in consumer protection in the era of pension freedoms. The government should use the Bill that has just arrived in the Commons to legislate to protect pensions now.'

The committee's proposal echoes calls from the House of Lords in its discussions on the establishment of a new single financial guidance body.

An amendment tabled by Lib Dem peer John Sharkey defeated the government by a vote of 253 to 205 to quash a bid to further delay the introduction of the long-awaited cold calling ban

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