Consumer complains that a business' delay in processing paperwork caused her annuity to start late

Annuities Pensions

Wendy got in touch with us when the annuity she'd taken out started later than she intended because of a delay in paperwork being submitted to the annuity provider.

What happened 

Wendy was planning to retire at 59 and had arranged her leaving date with her employer. She needed her personal pension income to start straight away as she wouldn't receive her state pension yet and didn't want to go into her savings. 

Wendy was a longstanding client with an independent financial adviser, and three months before she was due to retire, she asked them to look into the best annuity she could get. They came back to her quickly with a recommendation for the best annuity for her situation, which Wendy agreed to.  The financial adviser contacted the annuity provider straight away and asked them to send the relevant forms for Wendy to be able to transfer her pension pot to the new annuity provider. The provider did, and these were forwarded to Wendy to check and sign. 

Wendy returned the forms two months before her retirement date and checked that her financial adviser had received them. She then left it in their hands to complete the process. 

A week before she was due to retire, she called her adviser to check that she would receive her first annuity payment shortly after retiring. But they told her that the forms hadn't been passed on to the annuity provider. They apologised and transferred the documents straight away, but because of subsequent delay in the transfer of funds to the annuity provider, Wendy had to use some of her savings. 

Wendy complained that she'd lost out on the interest on her savings she'd had to rely on and was very upset and distressed by what had happened. 

What we said

We looked at what had happened and what the financial adviser had done to try and put things right. They had apologised and offered Wendy £50 as a gesture of goodwill. But we didn't think that this adequately reflected either the loss to Wendy on her savings, or the upset she'd been caused. 

We decided to uphold Wendy's complaint and told the business to compensate her. The loss of interest came to just over £100, but we rounded this up to £200 to take into account the upset and distress the situation had caused her.