Scottish Widows has come under fire over an alleged “backlog” causing delays in requests for open market option pension transfers.
Sources have told Money Marketing Widows is taking 23 working days on average to carry out an Omo pension transfer. The provider is also taking 25 minutes on average just to answer telephone enquiries.
An industry source says transfers from the provider previously took between seven and 14 days, while calls were answered within 10 minutes.
The source says: “It is sometimes taking over half an hour to get through to them and they have mentioned about currently being in a backlog.
“This is delaying savers receiving their retirement income and impacts people who have chosen to shop around and move elsewhere for their annuity.”
Another industry source says: “It is is consistently difficult to get hold of Scottish Widows and its attendance at the Origo Operational Group meetings is sporadic.”
The Origo group was set up to improve the efficiency of transfers between pension providers.
A Scottish Widows spokesman says: “Like most of the industry we have seen an increase in demand following the recent Budget changes.
“Our service and support teams are working hard to help our customers and we take any isolated cases where we have not delivered our usual standard of service very seriously.”