The Pensions Advisory Service has received almost 20% more complaints from members of occupational and personal pension schemes over the last 12 months than it did during the previous year.
According to OPAS’ annual report, it received a total of 65,902 enquiries and complaints during 2003/04.
Out of this, complaint cases totalled 8,006 – a rise of almost 20% compared with the 2002/03.
Some 30% of complaints were made regarding poor administration, such as errors, delays, misquotations, OPAS reveals.
OPAS is concerned about this figure and is calling on the pensions industry to take steps to raise service standards all around.
Malcolm McLean, OPAS chief executive, says: “We are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of complaints relating to the administration and day to day running of pension schemes.
“A culture seems to be developing where quality and good customer service are considered dispensable in the ever persistent quest to drive down costs.
“This is short-sighted and scheme members are entitled to expect more from their schemes. We would like to see this trend reversed with an emphatic raising of standards all around,” he adds.
Other complaints were made regarding clarification of entitlement (19%), transfers (11%) and poor advice (13%).IFAonline
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