Pension service review shows improved satisfaction across the board

28 May 2020

By asking advisers their opinion, we measured the relative importance of seven satisfaction categories: provider strength and brand, provider staff, product and proposition, new business servicing, pension freedom servicing, existing business administration and online services for advisers’ preferred providers of individual pension business. We then looked at how satisfied the advisers were with their preferred providers, and identified where expectations were being met by cross-matching ranked importance to ranked satisfaction.

Conducting these surveys each year allows us to compare trends across the market. Much like 2018, personal pensions, drawdown and SIPPs remain as the most recommended types of pension product. Despite the introduction of pension freedoms, conventional annuities are being recommended by over 40% of advisers, with slightly increased support compared with the previous study. This underlines their continued role as the default position where guaranteed income is required.

Royal London, Aviva and Prudential take the top three positions for providers recommended in the last 12 months, consistent with previous years.

Improved satisfaction

When compared to last years’ survey, with the exception of provider strength and brand, satisfaction scores have improved by an average of 4%. The ranked order of importance of the seven satisfaction categories has stayed in much the same order, though product and proposition is ranked the most important ahead of pension freedom servicing.

Three of the seven categories, including pension freedom servicing and online services, are below expectations, our survey showed. Another three, including provider strength and brand and provider staff, are above, based on the number of above average scores awarded by advisers. Only new business servicing exactly is meeting expectations currently. Freedom servicing, seen as the most important aspect of service according to the survey, is performing below expectations.

“Overall, with the exception of pension freedom servicing, satisfaction of pension providers is good. Last years’ survey revealed some gaps between service in expectations and these by and large have closed” David Cartwright, Head of Insight and Consulting for Wealth and Protection at Defaqto, comments. “The results have revealed that the pensions industry in general is meeting or exceeding expectations. However, there’s still some room for improvements to be made. For example, despite being ranked second in importance satisfaction, pension freedom servicing was below expectations” he adds.

Want to learn more?

For more details, including the individual satisfaction scores, download our 2020 Pension Service Review for free here.

About Service Ratings

We use the results of the survey to rate providers Gold or Silver based on their overall satisfaction score. These Service Ratings help advisers in choosing the appropriate provider partners for them as they are based on the feedback we receive. They are available to view and use within Defaqto Engage, our end-to-end financial planning solution.

You can learn more about Engage, our end-to-end financial planning tool, and request a demonstration, here.

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