Adviser vents frustration as Now: Pensions declines detailed Letter of Authority

Sophie King reports

Workplace pension provider Now: Pensions rejected a Letter of Authority (LoA) from an adviser on behalf of their client despite receiving all relevant information.

The adviser, who preferred not to be named, wrote to Now: Pensions with a LoA asking for information on their client’s pension. They did not intend to do anything with the pension but wanted to understand the basis of it so that they could best advise their client on other financial areas.

Firstly, in correspondence seen by RP’s sister title Professional Adviser, Now: Pensions responded incorrectly to the adviser’s request, treating them as the scheme holder rather than the adviser.

After clarifying who they were, the adviser then received another email from the pension provider which said: “Unfortunately, we have been unable to proceed with your request as your company’s address is not detailed on the Letter of Authority.”

In response, the adviser said the LoA has more than enough information needed, included the advice firm’s Companies House number, proof of authorisation, the firm’s name and all the relevant client information.

However, in reply, Now: Pensions said: “This is our company policy and without your address detailed within we will not be able to provide you with any information regarding the member’s plan.

“Please arrange to re-send the Letter of Authority with your business address detailed within, where you can return a scanned copy to this email address.”

Of course, the adviser will send the address, but this is not the first time they have faced difficulty with trying to get information from a pension provider. 

They argued this does not seem to be in line with treating customers fairly. “Trying to get data out of some of these companies is a joke,” they said.

Now Pensions chief operating officer Ralph Frank said: “We are sorry to hear that an adviser has had difficulties retrieving information on behalf of a member. We would welcome direct contact from the adviser concerned in order to deal with his query.”