Just Retirement has held on to the top ranking in Sesame's annual provider service index, but AXA remains in last place.
The index, which asks advisers to rate key service areas from different providers, also shows Scottish Life made the largest year-on-year climb.
According to the Sesame survey, it has been a good year for Bright Grey, BUPA and LV=, but a poor one for Canada Life, Winterthur, progress from Royal Liver, and The Hartford, although the firm still sits in sixth place out of 21.
Sesame surveyed over 500 advisers to find out their opinions of four key provider service areas; handling telephone calls, the ability to process and track new business, online systems and support, and handling correspondence.
Advisers were then asked to choose five strong life and pension providers and five poorly performing providers in each area and then rank them in order of best to worst.
Overall, Just Retirement was the top performing provider with an index score of 3.1, up from 3 in 2006.
Skandia followed with a score of 2.3, down from 2.8 in 2006, while Legal and General came third, moving up four places, with a score of 2.
At the bottom of the table was AXA in 21st place with a score of -2.2, unchanged since 2006. Canada Life saw the biggest drop, falling eight places to 20th as its score fell from -0.3 to -2.2.
Scottish Life made the biggest gain, jumping eight places from 20th in 2006 to 12th in 2007. Scottish Life’s score increased from -1.5 to 0.3.
Stephen Young, sales and marketing director of Sesame, says the provider index is intended to inform providers of how they are perceived by advisers, rather than to act as a ‘naming and shaming’ exercise.
“We have been encouraged by the response from product providers, following a series of meetings over the last six months, where we have been sharing the findings to help them identify areas for improvements,” he says.
“By continuing to work together we believe it is possible to make a real difference to advisers’ ability to run efficient businesses that deliver a professional service to their clients.”
The Provider Service Index is an independent study that was conducted by NMG Research, on behalf of Sesame, in October 2007.
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