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FOS hit by rising pensions complaints as PPI cases soar

FOS hit by rising pensions complaints as PPI cases soar

The number of complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) in relation to pension products has risen over the last nine months.

Figures for the first three quarters of the Ombudsman's year, which runs from April 2012 to April 2013, reveal that complaints in relation to annuities, Sipps, personal pensions, and pension transfers all increased compared to the first three quarters of 2011/12.

The FOS saw a 26% increase in Sipp complaints, receiving 455 complaints, up from 360 in the equivalent period last year, with 58% of these being upheld in the consumer’s favour.

Complaints on annuities went up 20% from 439 in the year to date, from 363 in 2011/12, but only 27% were upheld.

There were 1,537 complaints related to personal pensions, a 17% increase compared to the 1,303 made at this point last year, with 33% of cases upheld by the FOS.

Occupational pension transfers and opt-outs complaints increased 17%; the Ombudsman received 226 complaints in comparison to 197 from this time last year.

Overall, the FOS, headed by chief executive Natalie Ceeney (pictured), received more complaints in the period between October and December 2012 than in any year between 2000 and 2010. The total number of new complaints was at 180,679.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints continued to dominate, with the FOS resolving 244,873 complaints in the period up to December 2012. The Ombudsman said it was currently taking on between 8,000 and 10,000 PPI complaints each week and expected to receive over 350,00 complaints this year.

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