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Home > Pensions > Annuities

IFAs turn backs on Prudential after delays

Problems with Pru’s enhanced annuity quotation process pushes advisers away

By Laura Suter | Published Sep 04, 2012 | comments

Prudential has been criticised for slow turnaround times and complicated encryption on their annuity quote services, leading advisers to refuse to do business with the company.

IFAs have reported waiting times of up to three months from them submitting to getting a quote on enhanced rates.

Ian Osang, an IFA at Ingard Independent Financial Management, said, “We used to wait for Prudential to come back with their quotes, but in the time it took them to ask one question we had surveyed all other companies, processed the claim and the client had received their first payment.”

Jim Howard, an adviser at Kudos Financial Consultancy, said in the current market, a rapid response is even more important.

“With today’s rates changing quite rapidly, we need a fast response from the time of getting the fund valuation to getting the quote. If Pru come back even six or seven days later, it’s not quick enough,” he said.

Darragh Leeson, UK head of media relations at Prudential, said a rise in people using the service at the end of last year and the start of this year meant delays had occurred.

“Volumes went up by roughly 50%. The markets moved and some companies that were more competitive than us changed their rates, so we become more competitive and attractive,” he said, adding, “But we are now back to 48-hour turnaround times, which is in line with our usual service agreement.”

But while Pru said turnaround times are back to normal, Osang said three applications for enhanced-annuity quotes submitted by his firm last week have yet to receive a response.

Prudential has also been criticised for the encryption methods it uses on some quotes, making it harder for advisers.

Leeson said it had received complaints about the encryption, which complies with data protection rules, and looked at changing the methods.

“People said it was cumbersome and wanted it changed so we looked at it and have now blanked out the postcode information rather than encrypting.

“This has happened in the past month to six weeks,” he said.

laura.suter@ft.com

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