To those who have ever read anything I have written it is no doubt apparent of the very low esteem in which I hold life offices.
A recent example shows how they appear to have learnt nothing from RDR or TCF.
Aviva was asked for a full vesting quotation to encompass two of its pensions. The request was that the quote should encompass both pensions and show maximum tax-free cash, a single life level pension with no guarantee with payment made annually in arrears and without (of course) commission.
Aviva can’t show ‘no guarantee’ – the minimum is one year. Its stated time is seven to 10 working days. But sometimes it can do it faster.
They can’t e-mail, but they can fax. So a fax was requested. About a week later a fax arrived – just two illegible pages. So a call requests another and the specifications are reiterated.
A few days later another fax arrives – again two pages and illegible. Another call at which it is established that all this comes from an offshore call centre and would I like to be put through to them directly to sort the issue.
I point blank refused as I just will not deal with offshore centres and I think the reasons are becoming obvious.
The onshore call centre said they would get the details and fax them. A nine page fax arrives – illegible. (The fax was tested and there is no fault from our end).
Finally the documents arrive in the post. However each policy is quoted separately, which is okay, but the annuity is not aggregated. So I have to assume that by just adding them together I will get the same terms as a combined figure – which is what was presented for OMO quotes.
It may also be interesting to note that in spite of clearly reminding them that no commission is required (on 4 occasions) the quotes come with commission. Where is the disclosure – on page 17 out of 25! Bear in mind that this is per policy. How many clients get to page 5 let alone page 17?
This is TCF? This is good service? This is RDR?
In the vast majority of cases Aviva emails or mails all ‘at retirement’ quotations and supporting literature to advisers.
As is the regulatory requirement, we share a comprehensive range of literature with our customers when they approach retirement so that they have all the information they need to make an informed decision about their benefits. This includes details of all the options available at retirement from Aviva, Open Market Option fund values and a medical questionnaire.
In a small number of cases we cannot email some literature and in those instances we offer to fax the material, which is a faster option than mailing. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.