TPAS Annual Review 2014-15 published
The Pensions Advisory Service's Annual Review 2014/15, published today, highlights the increased interest in pension saving and the critical need for independent and impartial information and guidance on pensions saving and retirement planning.
Last year TPAS helped 103,000 customers through its national helpline, online webchat facility, and website enquiry form and dispute resolution services. Additionally, over 1,160,000 people visited the website, which was redeveloped in October 2014 to improve TPAS’ digital offering, allowing more pension savers the opportunity to self-serve their pension queries.
Unsurprisingly, the main focus for 2014/15 was the preparation for the new Freedom and Choice pension reforms introduced in April 2015. As a result, the number of calls and webchats to the national helpline was up by 36%. Furthermore, the dispute and resolution team, who deal with a variety of pension complaints throughout the year saw an increase of nearly 20% with the most common looking at delays, entitlement disputes and mistakes.
During the year, TPAS was chosen as the telephone delivery partner of the new free and impartial HM Treasury guidance service, Pension Wise. The service was set up by Government to ensure defined contribution pension savers aged 50 and above, would be guaranteed access to free and impartial guidance to help them make informed decisions about how they access their pension savings.
Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive, TPAS said:
“What a year it has been for all of us working in pensions! Pensions have received unprecedented media attention, which has resulted in even more people talking and thinking about their pension. Last year our team of pension experts, both staff and volunteers, helped 103,0000 savers with their pension queries, applying their expertise to a wide variety of pension topics.
The introduction of the new Freedom and Choice pension reforms has revolutionised the way savers access their funds, offering more flexibility for those planning for later life. The continued increase in volumes of queries and the demand for Pension Wise guidance is a true testament that helping people make proper provision for their retirement by providing information and guidance is even more critical in this new pension world.”
Geoff Shanks, Interim Chair, TPAS said:
“It is so encouraging to see such an increase in consumer interest regarding pensions and later life planning. It is clear from the number of customers served by the Pensions Advisory Service last year that the service continues to be a vital source of pension information and guidance.
The delivery of our service could not be done so cost-effectively without the invaluable contributions made by our national network of volunteers, whose pension knowledge and expertise has supported the organisation in its mission to be the ‘go to’ place for pensions. We hope that this increased interest in pensions continues to build and that we can help even more pension savers in the years to come.”
You can read the full Annual Review 2014-15 here.