Prudential tops table of most-complained-about pension providers

Prudential was the most complained about pension provider in the UK in the first six months of, representing almost a fifth of the 51,412 decumulation and pensions complaints brought in H1 2017.

Prudential 480Prudential’s 9,404 complaints made it the nation’s most complained-about provider by a considerable margin, with Aviva in second place with a total of 6,920 across its two key pension brands, with Aviva Life seeing 3,123 claims and Friends Life seeing 3,797 claims.

Scottish Widows was third most complained about, with 3,701 complaints, closely followed by Royal London with 3,477 complaints.

Phoenix saw 3,248 complains, while Standard Life companies saw 2,932 complaints and the Aegon’s Scottish Equitable brand registered 2,637 complaints. Zurich experienced 2,268 complaints and L&G saw a total of 1,180.

Complaints were upheld by the regulator on 62 per cent of occasions, a proportion higher than for any other product group across the FCA’s remit.

There were 8,970 complaints about workplace personal pensions in the first half of 2017, compared to 29,231 complaints for non-workplace plans, including Sipps. Annuities accounted for 5,547 complaints, while drawdown and UFPLS complaints stood at 4,687 over the period, with 1,944 complaints to the FCA about trust-based pensions, both occupational DC and DB.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) continues to be the most complained about product making up a third of all complaints in the first half of 2017. The total number of PPI complaints increased by 24 per cent from 899,000 to 1.11m. Excluding PPI, the number of complaints was 2.21 million.

The total redress paid to consumers was £1.99 billion in the first half of 2017. 82 per cent of the total redress payments are for PPI complaints.

The FCA says 43 per cent of all complaints made during the first half of 2017 were related to ‘advising, selling and arranging’, compared to 59 per cent in the first half of 2016. While ‘general administration and customer service’ accounted for 27 per cent of all complaints in the first half of 2016, they now account for 38 per cent of all complaints.

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard says: “We now require firms to report all complaints which gives us a fuller picture of where the industry might not be meeting customer needs. But even allowing for the change in reporting rules, and some progress made, the numbers are still significant.

“Firms need to do all they can to reduce complaints and ensure that they are working in the best interests of consumers.”