Personal PensionJul 11 2013

Mystery Shopper: Norwich

Search sponsored by

Telephone manner: Very friendly, polite and patient. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The adviser was qualified to diploma level and could therefore advise on pensions and investments. 5/5

Payment method: He explained that the initial meeting was held at the adviser’s expense. If further advice was given then a fee would be taken but it is difficult to say what that fee would be. 5/5

Guidance given: The adviser said the shopper could opt out of the pension. He asked about the size of her employer’s firm and deduced that it was likely she had been auto-enrolled because of government reforms. He said it was good to start saving as young as possible. 5/5

Knowledge: A good level of knowledge was shown and the adviser explained that if auto-enrolment was in her contract of employment then the employer had the right to put her into the pension without explicitly asking her. 4/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser clearly knew all about auto-enrolment and the shopper felt confident going back to him.

Score: 31/35

Provider: Aviva, 37-43 Surrey Street, Norwich NR1 3UY

Speed of response: Time of call:10.05am. Picked up after two rings. 4/5

Telephone manner: Friendly, patient and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The representative said members of Aviva’s pensions helpline team were not qualified to give advice. 1/5

Payment method: The caller was told that if she chose to take advice with the adviser looking after her workplace pension scheme it may not necessarily be free or fully funded by her employer. 3/5

Guidance given: She suggested the shopper should speak to the employer and find out who the pension provider was and call them. Employers complying with auto-enrolment would stage at different times and without the specific scheme details she would not be able to establish whether the shopper had been brought into the pension as a result of the legislation. She explained that Aviva policyholders would be able to cancel their pension within 30 days of receiving the policy documents. The shopper was also told to visit the department for work and pension website for more information on workplace pensions and auto-enrolment. 4/5

Knowledge: The helpline worker’s knowledge of auto-enrolment was good. She clearly explained that under the legislation all employers had to offer a workplace pension to eligible workers over the age of 22. It was explained that the worker would be able to get information on their right to opt out once the policy had been set up. 4/5

Email web/presence: 3/5