Pensions: What's new this week - 14 September 2020
14 September 2020
Each week the Allen & Overy Pensions team, rounds up the latest legal and regulatory developments in the world of occupational pensions. Contact us if you would like to receive our podcast summary, or our full briefing by email, at the start of each week.
Read the latest edition of 'What's new this week' below to find out more information on the stories that matter to you.
ICO fine for pensions cold calls
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a £130,000 fine to a company that made more than 100,000 unauthorised direct marketing calls to people about their pensions. The calls were made between the introduction of a ban on pensions cold calling (in January 2019) and April 2019.
The ban on cold calling covers unsolicited direct marketing calls in relation to pensions products and services. Trustees and managers of occupational and personal pension schemes (and FCA-authorised callers) are exempt, provided that the recipient consents to the calls or there is an existing client relationship such that the recipient might reasonably expect to receive cold calls (and has been given the opportunity to refuse them). The conditions were not met in this case.
The ban on cold calling is designed to help protect individuals from pension scams, but members continue to be at risk. The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority have continued to highlight these risks during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Pension Schemes Bill currently before Parliament also contains proposals aimed at limiting statutory transfer rights to help tackle ongoing scam activity. Reportedly, there are also plans to table a non-government amendment to the Bill to permit trustees to refuse transfers where due diligence raises ‘red flags’.
Consultation: obligations for pensions actuaries
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is consulting on a revised professional standard on duties and responsibilities for pensions actuaries. The aim is to streamline and clarify standards for actuaries working in the pensions sphere (including in-house advisers), and to extend the scope of the standard to actuaries advising employers.
The consultation closes on 7 January 2021.