Cold-calling ban regulations approved by Parliament

24 December 2018

From 9 January 2019, cold-calling of the public in relation to occupational pension schemes or personal pension schemes, including the sending of unsolicited text and emails, will be against the law.

Regulations were finally approved by Parliament on 19 December 2018 to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations to prohibit the use of a public electronic communications service to make unsolicited calls to an individual for the purpose of direct marketing in relation to occupational pension schemes or personal pension schemes.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 amend the 2003 regulations.

Geographical extent – These regulations apply to the United Kingdom.


There is an exception which applies to a caller who is an authorised person of an occupational or personal pension scheme and the called line is that of an individual who has previously consented to such calls.

The exception also applies if the recipient of the call has an existing client relationship with the caller on the line and the relationship is such that they might reasonably envisage receiving unsolicited calls. The recipient must also have been given a simple means of refusing the use of their contact details for the purpose of such calls.


The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will issue guidance for industry on adhering to the pensions cold calling ban. The ICO is also producing a new statutory direct marketing code under the Data Protection Act 2018 which will be consulted on in 2019.