Complaints to the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) about poor administration in personal pension arrangements have risen by 43% in the last year, according to its annual report. Administration complaints accounted for more than 30% of the total complaints filed last year.
Similar complaints against company schemes fell by 12% in the same period. The total number of complaints last year rose from 5,596 to 6,821, a 15% increase.
Robert Branagh, statutory and public service director at Xafinity Paymaster, says: "It is discouraging to see that the overall number of complaints about pension mis-selling and poor administration has increased but reassuring to see that gripes about workplace pension schemes fell 12%.”
Branagh says members must update administrators with changes of address, personal circumstance and when necessary, confirmation of previous entitlements in retirement circumstances.
In the report, TPAS also says it regrets the lack of concern for the needs of customers from some insurance companies with regards to personal pensions.
Malcolm McLean, chief executive of TPAS, says: "The worst offenders are insurers who are closed to new business. The unit is often under resourced and there is little or no discernable customer service ethic in place."
He says the regulatory authorities should intervene on behalf of consumers if the insurance industry does not voluntarily tackle the problem. He says the customers are usually unable to extricate themselves from the policies except "at great financial cost".
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