13 July 2010
The increasing interest in pensions is highlighted by the one
million plus visits to the Pensions Advisory Service's (TPAS)
website. Website visits increased by 61%. Written
enquiries also increased by 27%.
Details are given in TPAS's annual review "Advising on Pensions:
A Review of Activities 09/10"
The report shows that visits to the TPAS website totalled
1,276,875. Over 74,000 calls were made to our helpline and
16,000 written questions were sent to us by email and post.
6,000 people attended presentations hosted by our 'talks in the
workplace service'. The number of dispute cases (7,769) was
similar to the number reported in our last review.
Our new website went live last September. Feedback showed
that 98% of users found the site easy to navigate and 95% liked the
new look. To help people with their decision-making, we have
added further planners to the site. In addition to our
annuity and contracting-out planners, planners to help people
decide whether to pay a voluntary National Insurance contribution,
and help employers understand their duties under auto-enrolment,
The most popular subject that people sought guidance about was
again the state pension, which accounted for 37% of all calls and
31% of written enquiries. Many people wanted to better
understand the qualifying conditions and how they could improve
their state pension.
In relation to private pension arrangements, the range of
questions was again wide. Amongst the most popular subjects
were: the effects of redundancy and leaving a pension scheme,
tracing lost pension plans, decisions on retirement-saving, and the
rules about trivial lump sums.
TPAS 'talks in the workplace' service grew in popularity.
261 presentations were made, attended by over 6,000 people.
The number of complaints referred to TPAS was fractionally more
than in the previous 12 months. Complaints were mainly about
delays, mistakes and applications for ill-health
TPAS Chairman, Partha Dasgupta said "Last year the number of web
visits exceeded 1.2 million: a new record. The equivalent of
one hit every 24 seconds. The overall demand for our services
increased for the fifth consecutive year. This increase reflects
the prevailing economic uncertainty and the state of flux in the
TPAS' mission to explain and resolve pension issues could not be
achieved without the support of the pensions industry, our staff
and volunteer advisers. I thank them all on behalf of our
The report can be downloaded by clicking
Note for Editors
1. TPAS is an independent body supported by the Government which
exists to provide information and guidance to the public on pension
matters generally. Our service is free and sustained by a
nationwide network of volunteer advisers.
2. TPAS provides a national pensions helpline 0845 601 2923
which is open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
3. Our website covers all aspects of pensions in the UK: www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk
4. TPAS acts as an impartial mediator in pension disputes
involving occupational, personal and stakeholder pensions. It
has not statutory powers and does not provide investment
5. TPAS 'talks in the workplace' service presents to groups of
employees in the workplace, about saving for retirement via a
pension plan and the issues to be taken account of.
6. TPAS provides a range of leaflets on different aspects of
pension. Details can be found on the website.