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Providers fall short on pension freedoms services

Advisers say the way major providers service pension freedoms is well below their expectations according to research published today.

Financial information business, Defaqto has published its annual review of the service delivered by pension providers as rated by financial advisers.

The online survey took place between June and September 2018 and received 485 responses that measured seven categories of service at providers.

It measured the relative importance of these categories and identified advisers’ preferred providers of individual pension business.

The survey shows personal pensions, drawdown and Sipps are the most recommended types of pension product, and in the same order of preference as they were in 2016 and 2017.

Hybrid and blended solutions have become slightly more popular than last year, with the remaining products staying the same.

Annuities remain at a steady level when compared to 2017, meaning their demise may have been somewhat exaggerated.

Three of the categories are below expectations and three are above based upon the number of above average scores awarded by advisers, with only new business servicing exactly meeting expectations.

Freedom servicing, seen as the most important aspect of service but according to the survey, is performing below expectations.

Defaqto head of insight and consulting for wealth and protection David Cartwright says: “Overall satisfaction remains largely unchanged in comparison to 2017. However, there is still work for providers to do in some of the service categories when it comes to bridging the gaps between service and expectations.

“Results of the survey have shown that providers will need to consider the service they are offering and why advisers (or perhaps advisers’ clients) are not completely satisfied with how they are performing in certain areas.”


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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 6th March 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I (almost) have a client aged 71, with a serious health condition but, against all expectations, still alive after 8 years. Her PP is worth £97,000 but her financial circumstances are such that she doesn’t need any of it nor is she ever likely to. Nevertheless, she had in mind withdrawing it all in four equal instalments but was told that to do so she would have to provide evidence of having taken RFA. Hence she phoned me.

    I checked with our technical people who told me that if she wants UPFLS, then yes, RFA is mandatory but if she wants FAD, no it isn’t.

    I explained the differences to the client and said tell the insurer you want FAD so RFA is not required. But they just wouldn’t have it, insisting that whichever way she wants to withdraw the money, she MUST prove having taken RFA.

    Having thought about it overnight, I said leave the money where it is and, should you make it to age 75, take out just your 25% TFC and leave the rest, bequeathing it equally to your 8 grandchildren.

    Thoughts anyone?

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