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Widows’ clients hit by glitch

Scottish Widows has apologised to 7,000 personal pension customers after mistakenly sending out letters telling them that their monthly contributions would be increasing.

In one case, an adviser says his client got a letter saying his monthly pension contribution would be doubling from £150 to £300, although neither the client not the adviser had requested this.

Widows says a computer system error led to the letters being issued and that clarification letters have now been sent out.

Informed Choice joint managing director Martin Bamford says: “It is easy to blame technology for this type of mistake but it can damage a provider’s reputation with customers and intermediaries. If these errors were repeated a few times, it would put us off using the firm again. It is a shame that technological failings are becoming a fact of life with the bigger providers. It is very confusing for customers.”

A Widows spokesman says: “Due to a system error, 7,000 letters were issued to pension policyholders indicating they had requested to increase their premiums. The error has been rectified and clarification letters have been issued to all affected policyholders. No policyholder will experience any financial loss and we would like to apologise for any undue concern caused by the system error.”

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