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News, April 29, 2003
The increase in complaint cases is clearly a
sign of the times
particular, there has been increasing concern over the closure of final
salary pension schemes - plans which offer a fixed retirement income based
on the worker's final salary and length of service.
unfair rules surrounding the wind-up of pension schemes have penalised
many workers and been eroding trust in the system.
Complaints cases (written enquiries): 53%
Calls to Opas helpline increased by 17%
Calls to stakeholder helpline fell from 27,770 to 7,380
McLean, chief-executive of Opas, said: "The increase in complaint
cases is clearly a sign of the times - reflecting in part at least the
grievance that many pension savers feel and the constant drip of bad news
stories that seem to afflict pensions at the moment.
McLean also said he was concerned by the reduction in number of enquiries
about stakeholder pensions - a low-cost plan introduced by the government
in April 2001 - aimed at encouraging people on irregular and modest
incomes to save for their retirements.
"Whilst I would have anticipated some drop in demand in the second
year after the new product launch, the fall-off in interest is much more
than expected," he said.