Ever wondered who tracks down all your old pensions when you become a PensionBee customer? Well, the answer is our dedicated BeeKeepers; Tess, Priyal and Emily.
They spend hours dealing with dusty companies - some still struggling along on Internet Explorer - and they’re the ones who’ll bring your pensions into the 21st century. Actually getting to the transfer stage isn’t always easy, however, as some of your old pension providers like to make life pretty tricky. So much so in fact, we’ve been tracking the biggest offenders.
The office is alive with the sound of hold music and the place can sound like a classical concert, but it gets much worse than that. Much, much worse. Straight from the mouths of our BeeKeepers, here’s nine nonscensical tales…
1. Computer says no
“A woman at one big provider (who’ll go unnamed for her own sake) told me that she didn’t receive my letter of authority* and informed me that I’d have to send it in again (an up to 3-week process).
When I got off the phone I double-checked our email tracking system and shockingly, it revealed that she had the letter of authority open in front of her whilst we were talking! Needless to say I phoned in again, made an official complaint, and got all the information I needed straight away.”
A legal declaration from a customer that allows us to start tracking down their old pensions
2. Contribution chaos
“Incredibly, one provider likes to create a new policy every time a customer makes a pension contribution. As a result, a customer may end up with 11 different pensions, making it impossible to track fees and performance.”
3. The mysterious case of the disappearing pensions
“Providers often tell me that they’re unable to locate customer pensions on their system. In fact just the other day I received a series of emails telling me exactly this. Eventually, after 40 minutes spent on the phone I was told that they had finally found them! I dread to think where these pensions keep disappearing to.”
4. If a tree falls in the woods, your pension provider will probably be the one to blame
“On occasion, one provider will send duplicate information with 10 page documents. I’m convinced they’ve got a vendetta against the rainforest.”
5. T minus ten seconds to transfer your pension
“Some providers set deadlines on pension transfers, and this can have really painful repercussions. One poor guy we were working with saw his workplace pension refunded to his old employer, after he missed the provider’s transfer deadline. He insisted he’d received no correspondence about it, but the provider disputed it. Just like that his savings were gone and he had no way of getting them back!”.
6. Database disarray
“Many of the providers I deal with have several different databases that aren’t connected. Logistically this makes things a complete nightmare… and makes for hours spent on hold”.
7. I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number… call me again please.
“One provider has a system whereby you can only call about a single customer at a time - you have to call back each time!”.
8. Calamitous customer management
“On occasion I’ve had a provider send information about one customer, in response to an information request about a totally different customer.”
9. Sixteen reasons to shift your pension
“Staggeringly, one provider lost customer documentation on 16 information requests. Clumsy doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
Incredible, isn’t it? If you want to learn more about how your provider is performing check out our Robin Hood Index.