, SIPP complaints have risen 37 percent amid pension transfer fears, Pension Justice


According to the latest data released by the Financial Ombudsman Service, mis-sold SIPP complaints have risen by an astonishing 37 percent in the last year alone, with a total of 2,051 reports made for the period up to 31st March 2018.

This marks a notable increase, up from 1,493 annual complaints for 2016-2017.

The trend we’re seeing correlates with growing fears over pension transfers, which have also led to increasing dissatisfaction – a pattern evidenced by a rise in complaints pertaining to these from 496 to 553.

Pensions complaints across the financial services industry rose by 2 percent overall, to a notable 5,257, with complaints against IFAs more prevalent than any other.

According to the data, not only was such consumer dissatisfaction common with regards to this instrument, but the cases made were highly likely to go in favour of the consumer, with an impressive 44 percent upheld, compared to just 21 percent for mortgages.

Interestingly, however, the total number of complaints against financial advisers actually fell, by over a quarter per annum. This meant that for the year to March 2018, the Financial Ombudsman Service processed 1,678 complaints against such professionals/ventures, as opposed to 2,197 for the year previous.

Overall upholding rates fell in line with this, being decided in favour of the consumer only 33 percent of the time. This was lower than the year previous, when 36 percent of claims made were successful.

Annuity and drawdown complaints across the entire spectrum of the financial services industry remained stable.

This raises an interesting point, in that mis-sold pension complaints are showing an increase in consumer success rates which is not reflected across the rest of the sector. Not only does this indicate that the Financial Ombudsman Service is taking these claims seriously, but that those erroneously sold such products are more likely than any other type of claimant to be compensated.