Less than two out of five Scottish 50-75 year olds contacted by their pension provider after new rules -PwC

pwc_logoDespite the introduction of major new pension reforms at the start of this month, it appears that almost 55 per cent of Scottish adults aged between 50-75 years have received no contact from their pension providers, according to ‘big four’ accountants PwC.

A PwC survey found a total of 37 per cent of Scotland’s 50-75 year-olds have been contacted by their pension provider on the retirement options available from 6 April.

That figure went down to 27 per cent in the low-wealth, small pension pot demographic and is still less than half (46 per cent) in the high-wealth, large-pension category.

In Scotland, the estimated pension pot for the main breadwinner in the household was £118,580, marginally under the UK average of £119,463. And of those surveyed, almost twice as many workers held Defined Contribution scheme pensions which had not been accessed than Defined Benefit, with only 8 per cent of those surveyed relying only on a state pension.

Alison Fleming

Alison Fleming, head of pensions, PwC in Scotland, said: “We’ve seen a year of highly-publicised pension reforms, resulting in huge changes for both the industry and the consumer. Despite this, it would appear that pension providers are either just lagging behind in contacting customers or the contact that’s been attempted has been dismissed as irrelevant, raising questions around the quality of customer interaction.

“The findings show that providers need to do much more than they have to date to provide essential information to their customers, many of whom will be looking to them, along with financial advisors, as their main source of information.”

The poll of adults approaching retirement also revealed that for those who did receive information from their providers– about 37 per cent in Scotland compared to 42 per cent in London – face-to-face interaction was deemed to provide the best quality information (92 per cent). There was little variation in the quality of information across other communication formats, from postal (71 per cent) to email (76 per cent), although it did appear that provider’s websites were judged to offer the poorest quality (65 per cent).

And when it comes to who gives information, Scottish workers rate the quality of communication of pension providers marginally better than other specialists such as banks, HMRC and insurance firms.

Alison Fleming, head of pensions, PwC in Scotland, added: “These reforms are a huge shift for both the industry and the consumer. The providers who will come out as winners in this new pension era will be those who have invested considerably in consumer research and in direct to consumer channels, enabling them to design and deliver a superior, value-add experience for their customers.”

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