Ban on pensions cold-calling

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ban on pensions cold-calling
  • Why was the pensions cold-calling ban introduced?
  • Scope of pensions cold-call ban
  • Exemptions
  • Limitations of the ban
  • Enforcement

Ban on pensions cold-calling

Historically, regulation 21 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/2426 (PECR Regulations) had permitted pensions cold-calling except in situations where the recipient of the call had either previously notified the caller that it did not wish to receive such calls, or where the recipient was listed on the Telephone Preference Service register. ‘Call’ is defined as ‘a connection established by means of a telephone service available to the public allowing two-way communication in real time’.

With effect from 9 January 2019, the Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2018, SI 2018/1396 (the 2018 Regulations), amended PECR Regulations, SI 2003/2426, reg 21 so as to disapply it to pensions cold-calling. At the same time the 2018 Regulations also introduced an opt-in model for unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals relating to their pensions by inserting a new regulation 21B in the PECR Regulations.

Why was the pensions cold-calling ban introduced?

The introduction of the ban on pensions cold-calling followed years of industry concerns that pensions scammers were using cold-calling tactics to specifically target their victims’ valuable pension funds. It has been reported that such scammers could make approximately eight calls per second, or 250 million per year, with the average fraud amounting to £91,000 per individual de-frauded. The pensions industry brought heavy pressure to bear on the government to introduce a

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