'Difficult and unresponsive' pension providers keep customers waiting for an average of 19 days

Pension providers are leaving customers waiting for an average of 19 days before responding to information requests, according to recent findings from PensionBee.

The pension manager looked at the performance of 24 providers which contributed to its wider ‘Robin Hood Index’ which highlights the best and worst of British pension firms.

Data revealed that one provider took an average of 40 days to reply to customers, this was four times the length of the quickest response which averaged to eight days.

Surprisingly, more than 50 per cent of providers analysed prefer to respond to requests by post, despite the abundance of quicker technological forms of communication.

Information queries on the phone also took an average of ten minutes to resolve.

Another pension provider shockingly lost documentation on information requests 16 times.

In terms of fees, one provider in the study required an annual fee of 1.6 per cent, more than double the average 0.78 per cent fee.

The overall findings suggest that significant reform is still necessary to make pensions more customer-friendly.

While discussing the research findings, PensionBee CEO Romi Savova said: “We deal with providers day-to-day and it’s incredible how complex they make pensions. Customers face all kinds of barriers, from baffling jargon to sluggish responses, and it’s almost impossible for people to get on top of their savings.

“We’re releasing this index as we think it’s important to highlight these issues, in the hope that it’ll go a little way to improving the pension industry.”

Furthermore, a PensionBee customer said: "I have to say I was pretty astounded by my pension provider and their lack of customer focus. I'd expected my dealings with them to be simple, clear and easy - after all, it's my money! Sadly though, they were difficult and unresponsive. It's no wonder people struggle to plan for retirement when they have to deal with such poor providers."

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