December 11, 2020

ICO issues public warning regarding unsolicited pension calls

On December 9, 2020, the Information Commissioner’s Office issued a public warning regarding unwanted pension calls, after a London company, Pension House Exchange Limited, was fined £45,000 for making 39,722 unsolicited direct marketing calls in violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PERC).  An ICO investigation uncovered that Pension House made targeted direct marketing calls related to pensions, to individuals that staff members connected with on LinkedIn, in violation of recent PERC provisions.

In January 2019, PERC updated its regulations in order to limit the number the calls that pension holders receive, in an effort to protect them from potential pension scams.  PERC only allows companies to call occupational or personal pension holders if, (i) the caller is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority or is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme, and (ii) the pension holder consents to receive calls or has an existing relationship with the caller.

Andy Curry, the ICO Head of Investigations, released a statement expressing his concerns regarding the cold calls, and the significant financial harm and distress that can result when people are pressured to make important financial decision over the phone.  Curry encouraged anyone who receives an unsolicited pension call to contact the ICO, so that the office can take action and stop the calls.

ICO News Release