Service Awards: Life & Pensions Round-up

Five-star winners

Fifteen life and pension companies provided excellent service, according to the advisers surveyed for this year’s awards.

This represents an increase of two on the 2012 five-star category results and four more than 2011.

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Dentons took the Life & Pensions Awards crown from four-time consecutive winners Scottish Life as this year’s highest rated life and pension provider after finishing runner-up in 2012.

The Sipp specialist was previously rated three-stars in 2010, but this year’s five-stars marks successive success in the top category.

Scottish Life, Axa Wealth, Partnership, MetLife Europe, Just Retirement, PruProtect, Prudential and LV= were also lauded last year for their excellent service.

On the other hand, newcomers include Ageas and MGM Advantage, who return to the top tier after a one-year absence, and Legal & General and Exeter Family Friendly, both of which were rated four-star providers last year.

Four-star winners

The number of companies receiving the four-star award status in 2013 has fallen by one, with 10 providers making it into this year’s category.

Three companies have dropped down into the four-star section including Paymentshield, who prior to this spent five consecutive years in the top tier. Standard Life, meanwhile, joined the ranks after passing the previous three-years as a five-star rated provider, whereas Walker Crips’ debut year in the top tier in 2012 has seen them relegated in 2013.

Four companies maintained their status as a four-star provider including Aviva, Bright Grey, Friends Life and Zurich Life.

Three-star winners

This year’s three-star category is a mixed bag of relegations and promotions, with just four companies in this section maintaining their status for an average service.

The biggest drop in performance came from Skandia, who after many years of success fell several categories this year. The life assurance company was last year awarded five-stars, a status it maintained for nine out of the past 10 years.

The other provider to slip down this year was Canada Life after three consecutive years in the four-star tier.

Three companies – Holloway FS, James Hay Partnership and Scottish Provident – improved on last year’s results.

Two-star winners

This year’s two-star category for poor service is the second most populated of 2013 and remains at 12 for the second consecutive year.

Bupa has fallen for the second year in a row, having previously been a solid four-star provider. Hodge Lifetime also dropped down a category this year after debuting as a three-star company last year.

However, Reliance Mutual, Pointon York and Alliance Trust all moved up a category in 2013 after previously being recognised, in 2012, as offering a very poor service.

The category sees two newcomers in PruHealth and Royal Liver, and four whose position has not changed since the 2012 awards.

Abbey for Intermediaries, Lutine, Unum and Xafinity all remain in the poor category once again, Unum after previously reaching three-stars in 2010 and 2011 and Abbey for Intermediaries after its four-star success in 2011.