Poor administration on pension transfer business is damaging the industry and must be tackled head on, says Suffolk Life director of sales and marketing John Moret.
The Pensions Ombudsman’s annual report for 2006/07 showed that pension transfer business was the second-highest cause of complaints with 158 cases, representing 13.9 per cent of all complaints.
Moret says he has seen instances of transfers taking up to a year to complete and this is not treating customers fairly.
Case summaries in the annual report highlight delays in getting transfer values, transfers and making payments.
Moret says: “It is about time that the industry woke up to the damage that can be done by not dealing with pension transfers promptly. We know that this is a source of huge frustration for advisers and yet ombudsmen reports come and go, codes of practice are adop-ted and yet nothing seems to change. It is time that someone took this seriously. It must be a TCF issue.”
Anand Associates managing director Bhupinder Anand says: “There are administrative problems with transfer business. The turmoil in pensions and with trustees over the last few years means that providers are more concerned about solvency ratios and keeping the schemes running rather than losing people out the back door. Transfer business is often a low priority.”