The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has been contacted by 185,509 pension savers over the past year, a fall on the previous year’s recording of over 200,000 pensions queries.
In its annual review published yesterday, 18 September, TPAS said that the new figures represented a 121 per cent increase on 2013-14, with the issues including members taking benefits, paying contributions, transferring and information/quotation requests.
TPAS said that the number people seeking its services has increased significantly since the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015, with 20 per cent finding them through Pension Wise and 80 per cent through its helpline, web chat and enquiries.
TPAS chief executive Michelle Cracknell, said: “Over the last five years, we have seen a significant increase in consumer contact and continue to help more pension savers. We’ve have been building new channels for service delivery to create efficiencies and have increased the number of customer-facing staff.
“Throughout all of this change, we have kept the customer at the heart of our business and have continued to drive the cost per customer down, without impacting on the quality of pension guidance provided.”
According to the advisory group, it set up services for British Steel, the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the Royal Mail pension scheme who have all had difficulties over the past couple of years.
TPAS added that its ability to offer to help members has been helped through its close partnership with the Money Advice Service, Pensions Policy Institute and the Association of British Insurers.
Looking forward, TPAS chair Ann Harris said that it has a number of initiatives to improve its service, including introducing chatbots for top queries, offering a 24/7 service and the continuation of its pilot for the mid-life review for the self-employed.