Complaints made to the financial ombudsman about pensions soared last year – but fell well short of moans about personal loans and banking.
Personal pension complaints were up 20%, from 1,985 in 2015-16 to 1,645 last year, while those for SIPPs and SSAS jumped 34% from 1,174 to 1,574.
Complaints about annuities, SERPS and free-standing additional voluntary contribution (FSAVC) schemes all dropped.
Overall, pension complaints rose by 15%, amounting to 4.5% of all cases handled by the ombudsman.
Personal protection insurance (PPI) accounted for 52.5% of the total, while banking and credit (31%) and insurance (12%) took the rest.
More than a million calls
Last year, the financial ombudsman handled 1.395 million inquiries, which resulted in 321,283 complaints.
The service resolved 336,381 complaints, mainly carried over from the previous year.
“At a time when people can move money in seconds on their phone, things can go wrong just as fast – and quite rightly, people don’t want to wait months for them to be put right,” said Financial Ombudsman chief executive Caroline Wayman.
“Resolving complaints quickly isn’t just about meeting the expectations of people used to managing things online. As this annual review shows, it can mean the difference between people losing or keeping their home.”
The annual report also disclosed that the number of inquiries and complaints about scams was still increasing.
“Scams, including cybercrime, continue to evolve – affecting people online and offline alike. An ageing population adds another dimension to questions of how financial services meet, and will continue to meet, people’s needs,” said Wayman.
“This annual review highlights how we’ve continued to work with the FCA and other stakeholders to address these pressing challenges for the financial services sector.”
The report explained that consumers call daily about the money they have lost to fraudsters.
“Scammers are successful because they make people believe something’s gone wrong – and that they can do something about it to get control back,” says the report.
“For example, they might say there’s a security problem with your bank account – and persuade you to send money to a safe account, which is anything but safe. Or they might say they’re from an internet provider and need to fix your computer remotely – and in doing so, access your online banking. ”