Annual Review outlines most common pension complaints & queries
Over 60,000 calls were made to the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), an independent organisation providing free information and guidance on pension matters, in the last year. The Pensions Advisory Service's Annual Review 2012/13, published today, highlights the reasons members of public need independent and impartial information on pensions and saving for retirement. The service also received over 18,000 written queries and 4,000 people contacted TPAS about a complaint with their pension provider. Over 3 million people visited the website, demonstrating the growing need for jargon free information about pensions to be available online. The introduction of a new online enquiry form has proved very successful and attracted over 19,000 users.
The main reasons for complaint concerned mistakes and overpayments, and failed ill-health retirement applications. The dispute resolution service was successful in achieving £7 million worth of additional pension income and compensation for the public.
Many people contacted the helpline because they needed help finding out who they should talk to about a pension issue - requiring us to signpost people to other organisations such as the Pensions Service. People also wanted help thinking through the choices they needed to make about their retirement.
The support of volunteers has always been central to way TPAS provides its services to the public. Collectively, volunteers gave 33,000 hours of their time to help members of the public with their pension query or complaint. It has been estimated that this equates to just under £10 million in equivalent monetary value.
Sarah Pennells, Journalist and editor of SavvyWoman.co.uk, said:
"TPAS is unique, not only because it provides such high quality information and advice on pensions and retirement - free of charge, but because it is staffed largely by volunteers. Without their expertise and commitment, many thousands of people would struggle to get an answer to their pension question or to get their complaint resolved."
Partha Dasgupta, Chairman, the Pensions Advisory Service said:
"Thanks to the support of our volunteers we are able to offer our services free to members of the public. With growing financial pressure on all public sector services, it will become increasingly important to utilise the skills and expertise of our volunteers, so that we can help even more people enjoy a comfortable retirement."
To read a copy of the TPAS Annual Review 2012/13 please click here