Advisers' favourite pension providers revealed

Advisers' favourite pension providers revealed

Royal London has topped advisers' list of preferred providers of individual personal pensions, according to research from Defaqto.

The survey of financial advisers, conducted between June and September 2018, asked advisers to name their preferred providers from the organisations whose products they had used in the prior 12 months.

Royal London finished top, with nearly 40 per cent of advisers stating they considered them a preferred provider, ahead of Aviva Life & Pensions, which was named by 23 per cent of those polled.

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Prudential was the third highest ranked provider, named by almost 20 per cent of respondents.

Old Mutual Wealth, which previously ranked third, dropped to fourth place, followed by Standard Life, AJ Bell, and Scottish Widows.

When advisers were asked to name what was important in a provider, they ranked pension freedom servicing as the most important, followed by the quality of the product proposition and the ability to service new business in third.

Patrick Connolly, a certified financial planner at Bath-based Chase de Vere, said he agreed with the ranking.

He said: "Royal London, Aviva and Prudential are all companies that we use and are happy with.

"Pensions are an important part of the business that we advise on. As such, we have a technical team that researches and reviews all pension products from providers.

"We look at the product terms, conditions and charges as well as the financial strength of the provider and service levels.

"We only select those products that they are happy to recommend to our clients and there are half a dozen providers that we use in different client circumstances."

Retirement Advantage was named by the lowest number of advisers as being a ‘preferred provider’ but was a ‘best performer’ when it came to IFA satisfaction for the quality of staff and corporate product proposition.

Mr Connolly said Chase de Vere does not currently use Retirement Advantage and the provider would have "fallen short" against one or more of its criteria when it was assessed by the technical team.

Paul Keeble, spokesman for Retirement Advantage, underscored the companies’ positive scores for the quality of staff and products in the survey.

He added: "I can only surmise where we have poorly scored is a reflection of what was, then, a limited product range as Retirement Advantage.

"But, when advisers have used us they have been very happy with the experience. Obviously, the limited product range has been resolved following our acquisition by Canada Life, and we have plans to improve our drawdown proposition in the coming months."