In the latest Pension Advisers review, figures on the number of upheld complaints have just been released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which reveal which pension and investment companies have performed the worst over the past 12 months.
The top 10 are:
- Scottish Widows
- Phoenix life
Not far behind are Royal London and Zurich.
Sadly, we haven’t really had to look at the Pension Advisers review, because we and our customers have daily experience of the poor service levels offered by these “Providers”. It starts with the length of time it takes to answer the phone (in some cases that can be over two hours), then moves onto the time it takes them to provide the relevant information about client’s policies and holdings. From there it moves to delays on actioning requests for change and finally moves into delays in transferring client funds. Quite often this is to the direct detriment of clients who are denied access to their own funds sometimes for months on end. In many cases clients have been compensated for the delays.
Initially the pandemic was used as a blanket reason for the deterioration of services standards, but this seems to have continued since pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Poor service levels do not impact on fund performance between Providers or indeed costs and charges, but it does have an impact on clients experience and therefore can affect their decisions on who to invest with.
We have our own views, based on experiences in the Office.
Our Top 5 worst service providers are:
- Scottish Friendly
At the same time, it’s only fair to also list our pension advisers review of the best 5, which are, in our opinion:
- Canada Life
- Standard Life
- Scottish Widows
- Legal & General
Interestingly we don’t have any issues with Scottish Widows despite them being on the list of highest FOS complaints.