92% of customers are satisfied with Pension Wise

Over 90 per cent of customers using Pension Wise during 2017/18 were satisfied with the experience, a new evaluation of the service has found.

In its latest evaluation, 92 per cent were satisfied with the service, down 2 per cent on the previous year, while 69 per cent are very satisfied and just 3 per cent were dissatisfied.

Furthermore, 97 per cent of customers said their understanding had improved a month after their appointment, while 92 per cent of customers feeling confident in their ability to avoid scams.

Just Group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said: “It’s a great set of results but we shouldn’t ignore the elephant in the room – take-up is too low and the reality is that increasing numbers are going it alone when accessing pension cash.”

According to the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) September data bulletin, take-up of financial guidance and professional advice was “flat or falling” among those accessing their pensions cash for the first time.

Despite this, the research shows that higher customer volumes and operational efficiencies have led to a slight decrease in satisfaction, with face-to-face satisfaction at location down from 93 per cent to 86 per cent.

“Legislation passed in the Financial Guidance and Claims Act will require people to receive independent and impartial guidance when accessing their pension benefits unless they explicitly opt-out of receiving it,” Lowe added.

“The FCA needs to address the findings of its own Financial Lives research that showed widespread misunderstanding among those planning to access pensions, including the half it identified as ‘potentially vulnerable’. Ensuring the majority of people receive independent and impartial guidance or regulated financial advice should deliver positive progress.”

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