The House of Lords has demanded a ban on pension cold calling as they backed a cross-party amendment calling for unsolicited calls about pensions be outlawed by 253 votes to 205. It comes as the government originally said that they would ban pensioner cold calling in September 2016 but has since ruled out any legislation until 2020, as it deals with other pressing matters such as Brexit.
However, a group of cross-party members of the Lords said that the delay would mean that millions of more people would be plagued by pension scammers and be at risk of losing some or all of their retirement savings.
The bill was tabled by the Liberal Democrats' Lord Sharkey who said that the ban on pension cold calling is necessary to deal with the "omnipresent menace". He commented:
"It is often a threat, directly and comprehensively to consumers financial wellbeing. It is often an invitation or more exactly an inducement to criminal activity. The problem is not only terrifyingly large, it continues to grow very rapidly."
Ros Altmann, a Conservative Party peer and former pensions minister agreed:
"People need protection from this nuisance now, they shouldn't have to wait still more years for a ban. Direct approaches to people on their mobiles or home phones should have no place in the modern world of business."
In response, Work and Pensions Minister Baroness Buscombe said that there were already a number of measures in place to protect consumers from nuisance calls, but recognised that there was a need to "truly eradicate this problem".
Baroness Buscombe said that the government had committed to banning cold calls and also promised to bring forward proposals that would also cover the claims management industry.
The calls to bring forward the ban on pensions cold calling comes as more than 10 million pensioners are targeted by scammers every year with the scammers making 250 million calls per year which work out at one every eight seconds.