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TPAS Publishes its Annual Report and Accounts

13 July 2011

At a time of significant change to private and public sector pensions, a record number of people are using TPAS services directly or online to help them understand what steps they should be taking.  TPAS dealt with 12% more written enquires and 54% more visits to its website compared with 2009/10; telephone calls were down 15% and written disputes by 22%.  We think that the decline in written disputes may be reflecting the transitory impact of the financial crises on the 2009 figures and a return to normality.  Our 63,751 helpline calls, 18,419 written enquiries, 6,021 complaint cases and 334 workplace talks could not have been delivered without the help of 377 case work and 150 workplace visits volunteer advisers.  And with over 2 million website visits, it means that someone visits our website every 16 seconds.

Satisfaction with our services remain broadly in line with last year and most of our targets have been met and this has been confirmed by Independent research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions.  This shows that 94% of people who used the TPAS helpline and 67% of people using the dispute resolution service were either very satisfied or satisfied with the response they received and the outcome of their call. 87% of people attended our talks on retirement planning found the presentation useful or very useful and over 80% said they would take some action on their retirement plans following our talks.  Of the people who expressed some dissatisfaction with the service, the report comments that this was largely driven by the outcome of their complaints rather than the service they received.

We have played our part in delivering public sector saving with administration expenditure at £3.6 million compared with £3.7 million in 2009/10; we have planned to make further savings as part of the Comprehensive Spending review 2010.

Partha Dasgupta, Chairman of TPAS, said "This is a great achievement by the staff and volunteer advisers at TPAS at a time when we were subject to a large amount of change, both organisationally and as a result of broader public sector initiatives.  Our service continues to be valued and we are looking forward to playing our part in the pension reform agenda, particularly automatic enrolment and state pension reforms.  I would like to thank our volunteers for their continuing commitment, without whom we would not be able to help as many people as we do."

Marta Phillips, TPAS Chief Executive said "The publication of this Report and Annual Account marks the end of my first year at TPAS.  It has been, and continues to be, a real pleasure to work with people who help to make sense of what could be impenetrable.  We have continued to provide a quality service to people seeking help with a wide range of pensions issues."  

Notes for Editors 

1. TPAS provides a national pensions helpline 0845 601 2923 which is open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. The dedicated pensions helpline for women is contactable during the same hours on 0845 600 0806.  In 2010/11 TPAS received 63,751 helpline calls, 18,419 written enquiries and over 2,010,210 people visited its website at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk  and handled 6,021 pension disputes.

2. The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is an independent organisation, operating at arm's length from DWP.   It provides independent, non-regulated, one-stop information and guidance to members of the public on pensions matters.  TPAS has three core services that it offers to individuals free of charge: information and guidance, dispute resolution and visits to the workplace to provide information on retirement planning.

3. The full research reports on customer satisfaction, can be found at the following website addresses:

  • Website: July 2009 (50 pages):

Click here for the DWP Paper  

  • Workplace Visits: October 2010 (104 pages):

Click here for the DWP Paper

  • Helpline and Dispute Resolution customer satisfaction: February 2011 (121 pages):

Click here for the DWP Paper

4. The service is provided by a nationwide network of volunteers and augmented by technical and administrative staff based in London.  TPAS is funded by grant-in-aid from DWP which is recovered by a general levy on pension schemes.

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