TPAS Annual Review 2015-16 launched
The Pensions Advisory Service's Annual Review 2015/16, published today, displays the service’s achievements over the last 12 months and evidences the need for consumers to seek independent and impartial information and guidance on pensions saving and retirement planning. Last year the service helped 175,000 customers through its national helpline, online webchat facility, and website enquiry form and dispute resolution services, representing a 73% increase on the year before. In addition, over 2,700,000 people visited the website seeking out pension information.
Continuing on from the previous year, 2015/16 once again saw a focus on the freedoms and flexibility introduced in the 2014 budget, with customers contacting the service to discuss their options and talk about retirement planning. Calls to helpline were up by 42%, likewise, web chat continued to be a popular channel with increased customer contact of 63% compared to 2014/15. Furthermore, the dispute and resolution team, who deal with a variety of pension complaints throughout the year, saw 73% of decision-making complaints were about ill-health retirement and a further 46% of complaints referred to define contribution pensions.
Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive, TPAS said:
“Last year was a milestone for pensions and for TPAS. We saw more people recognising the importance of saving for retirement, by helping a staggering 175,000 customers. It is clear that the pension freedoms were seen positively by the customers contacting us, as it gives them more options for accessing their savings. Whilst we saw a huge growth in the number of customers contacting our service, it is still only a fraction of the people that need help with planning their retirement income. There is still much work that needs to be done, to make sure that people are equipped to take responsibility for ensuring they have sufficient income in retirement. People need to be moved from being recipients of pensions to consumers of pensions. To do this, we need to build on the growing interest in pensions and make it a social norm for people to seek pensions guidance, not just at retirement, but regularly throughout their lives.”
Museji A. Takolia CBE, Chair, TPAS said:
“Since taking over as Chairman of The Pensions Advisory Service in February 2016, I have witnessed the exceptional value the service provides to both pension savers and to the industry. Despite the demands of the huge growth of 73% in customer volumes over the past 12 months, thanks to a dedicated team of professionals; both directly employed and volunteers, TPAS has remained committed to providing a service that puts the customer first.
My deep and sincere thanks to the dedication of our specialist volunteers and staff, some of whom have been with the organisation for many years. It is through their hard work that we have achieved another year of success.”
To read the full review, please click here.