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FOS pension freedom complaints on the rise


The number of customers approaching the Financial Ombudsman Service with complaints over pension freedoms is rising, Money Marketing can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by Money Marketing shows between July 2015 and February 2016 there were 848 new enquiries to the FOS relating to the freedoms.

These include complaints where customers claim they are being forced to take advice, delays in paying cash or transferring pensions, and the existence of exit fees.

This equates to 106 enquiries a month since June 2015, compared to the first three months of pension freedoms where the FOS received 232 enquiries, or 77 a month.

Enquiries are only escalated to official complaints once customers have gone through the provider’s internal complaints process.

In one example a customer complained after a provider blocked payment of a lump sum it had previously said could be carried out non-advised. The firm then reversed its position and imposed an advice requirement and offered to pay £100 compensation.

Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards says: “We have expressed our concerns that consumers were led to believe they had complete freedom and choice and understandably get frustrated when they hit obstacles.

“It has been very poorly positioned which only aggravates consumers even more and we are not satisfied this has been effectively resolved, particularly around insistent clients.

“Until the matter is addressed and processes are amended we are going to continue to get some very frustrated consumers.”



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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The Tsunami is building. If customers are concerned with the fees that providers levy; how about 1.38% for an annuity. They make money on the annuity and charge this just for setting it up. Not a lot if you have £50k , but pretty eye watering on a high six figure amount. And the regulator bleats about advisers using percentages. Oi Canaries – wake up and smell the coffee. (And you too Orrible Osborne).

  2. Not surprising if my experience is anything to go by. My previous adviser is trying to use archaic legal waffle around the three year limit for taking action , which I knew nothing about, to avoid giving back my pension fund. My attention was diverted by several operations for cancer during that period. The advisory firm, by the way, is still very much in business.
    Last week I discovered that the same firm has forged my signature on a sophisticated investor certificate.
    Ordinary people need more protection not less.

    • Barney

      I do hope you are now fully recovered and I do sympathise that your eye was off the ball in those circumstances.

      Unfortunately in general I don’t agree that ‘ordinary’ people need more protection. (Whatever an ‘ordinary’ person is). What is needed is a balance of protection and people engaging more and taking more responsibility for their financial affairs

  3. Barney
    Regulation isn’t going to stop criminal activity.
    If the firm forged your signature then report the firm to the police and the FCA.
    Not sure what your reference to three year limit and avoid giving back pension fund means.
    Ian Coley

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