Pensions  

Spike in personal pension cases at ombudsman

Spike in personal pension cases at ombudsman

The number of new personal pension cases at the Financial Ombudsman Service has more than doubled over the summer as consumers raised concerns surrounding suitability and customer service.  

According to its latest data published this morning (November 9) the ombudsman logged 825 new personal pension cases between July and September this year, an increase of 136 per cent on the 349 cases between April and June. 

The number of enquiries the service received in relation to personal pensions also significantly increased, jumping by 180 per cent, from 349 in the first quarter of 2020/21 to 980 in the second. 

The Fos told FTAdviser the number of complaints relating to suitability and administration had both more than doubled to around 130 and 380 respectively over the period.

Other areas of complaint which increased for personal pensions related to charges, fund management and delays. 

Coronavirus workload 

Today's update also shone a light on the ombudsman's future workload amid the coronavirus crisis, with the service having already received more than 10,000 complaints linked to the pandemic. 

Of these, more than 5,900 were made in the second quarter of this year between July and September. 

The ombudsman said: "We’re also hearing from more people who’ve fallen into financial difficulty and aren’t happy with the way their lender has responded."

Sipps

The ombudsman's pension workload has been shaped by an increase in self-invested personal pension claims amid an upward trajectory of mis-selling claims in recent years. But these are projected to flatten out as historic cases are resolved. 

Whilst the number of Sipp complaints increased between the first and second quarter of 2020/21, the jump paled in comparison to that seen in relation to personal pensions. 

The ombudsman processed 821 new Sipp cases between July and September this year, an increase of 29 per cent from the 636 received in the prior three months. 

The number of new enquiries relating to Sipp complaints jumped by 60 per cent over the same period, from 419 to 673. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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