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Investigation launched amid pension pot sale claims

An investigation has been launched into claims that the details of millions of people's pension pots have been sold to fraudsters and cold-calling firms.

Pensioners' salaries, the value of the investments and the size of their pensions are being sold for as little as 5p without their consent, the Daily Mail reported.

Steve Eckersley, the head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the privacy watchdog, described the claims as "very worrying" and announced an immediate investigation.

The Daily Mail claimed one of its undercover reporters were sold pension pot details for 15,000 people without any checks being made on who they were and what they wanted the data for.

"The worst case scenario here is this information getting into the wrong hands and being used to target individuals at a critical point in their financial lives," Eckersley said.

The claims come just a week before reforms giving Britons the chance to access their full retirement pots come into force.


Osborne: 'We still need to make difficult decisions'

Chancellor George has said that "difficult decisions" still need to be made to ensure Britain's economy becomes more balanced.

Osborne: 'We still need to make difficult decisions'. Credit: PA

"We still have to make decisions because we are still running a five per cent budget deficit," he told the Andrew Marr show.

Asked about deep cuts in the next Parliament, he said: "Our argument is that we have to run a surplus in the good years. You have to mend the roof in the sun. You cant have great public services unless you have a strong economy. We have set out five years of plans, and we have two more years after that."

On the suggestion of a deal with Ukip, he said: "It is total nonsense. Voting for Nigel Farage makes Ed Miliband a likely Prime Minister.

"Nigel Farage is not going to win seats in the House of Commons."

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