Personal Pension  

James Hay sees 30% increase in adviser queries

James Hay sees 30% increase in adviser queries

Retirement planning platform James Hay saw a 30 per cent increase in the total number of adviser calls to its technical support unit in 2014 as a result of the pensions reforms.

Through its pension and trust technical support helpdesk for advisers, the platform logged 3,864 calls in 2014, compared to 3,310 in 2013.

The platform told FTAdviser it puts the increase down to a rush of enquiries following the radical changes to the pensions regime that were announced last year. The changes, whereby consumers will have far more flexibility with their pension pot, will be implemented from 6 April 2015.

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In particular, calls on ‘death benefits’ were the most prevalent form of query at 144 calls in the second half of last year, as advisers wanted their questions answered on the new legislation as more detail was released.

Last year, the chancellor announced that tax would no longer be paid when you pass on a pension or an Isa to a spouse.

Queries about taking pension benefits recorded the second highest number of calls in the second half of last year at 122, followed by annual allowance at 111, pensions contributions at 104 and transitional protection at 90.

Calls on transitional protection at the end of the year rose by nearly 50 per cent on the previous quarter, which James Hay said was due to the new easement to the definition of block transfers.

Neil MacGillivray, head of technical support, said: “Pensions underwent a radical legislative make-over in 2014 and the new look pensions regime will mean calls to the technical support unit are bound to keep increasing as advisers get to grips with what this all means for their clients.

“For our part, come 6 April we’ll be offering maximum flexibility across investment options, contributions and withdrawals. Pensions never looked so ‘sexy’”.