In a vote on 24 October, the House of Lords supported a cross-party amendment calling for pension cold calls to be banned, triumphing by 253 votes to 205.
The government originally pledged to ban pensioner cold calling in September last year, but has since ruled out any legislation until 2020, reports newspaper The Telegraph.
The approval means legislation will be introduced to create a Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), through the merging of the Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the Monday Advice Service.
The SFGB will be given new powers to fight cold callers targeting pensioners and publish an annual assessment of consumer detriment because of cold calling.
It will also be required to send customer cases that have been the target of cold calling to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Any ban would have to be approved by the secretary of state based on advice provided by the SFGB.
Lord Sharkey, of the Liberal Democrats, announced the proposed changes to the house, saying the amendments would help tackle the “omnipresent menace” of cold calling.
“The figures are remarkable and very alarming. There are now 2.6 million cold calls every month; that number has increased by 180% in the last 10 months,” Sharkey says.
“I believe that there is a widespread conviction in parliament and in the country that cold calling in general is an unacceptable and omnipresent social menace.
“There is a widespread and entirely justified belief that cold calling can and does have dangerous and damaging consequences, especially for the vulnerable,” he says.
Under-secretary of state for the department of work and pensions, baroness Peta Buscombe, argued the changes would actually delay the implementation of a cold calling ban.
Buscombe expressed concern about the planned SFGB set up date not being until October 2018.
She says there will be further delays if all final decisions fall to the secretary of state as it already bears a heavy workload.
“It could be at least another year or two before any consideration could be made, prior to a recommendation being put to the secretary of state to introduce such a ban,” she says.
Buscombe says a more effective way to tackle cold calling will be through pension scam regulation the government is currently finalising.
“Following this, we will legislate at the earliest opportunity. This gives us the opportunity to develop legislation which is more carefully targeted and allows us to make proper provision for enforcement which this current draft does not allow,” Buscombe says.
A proposed crack down on pension cold calling first entered the news last year when Darren Cooke, chartered financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning, launched a petition against the practice.
The petition gained enough support for the government to announce they would look to legislate against pension cold calling.
“We must continue to push for the legislation to be on the statute books as soon as possible to protect the public – every day of delay more people will lose their money and their financial future,” Cooke said in April last year.