Providers are always finding new ways to stop AgeWage getting the data authorised us by letters of authority (LOA).
Even when an individual signs an LOA – and the insurer is legally required to act on it – the struggle continues. GDPR and the Data Protection Act were supposed to give people the right to the data held by others in digital format. It said nothing about what individuals could do with that data and did not stop individuals requesting data be sent to nominated third parties like AgeWage.
E- signatures are an example
Last year, the Law Commission came out with this statement
Following analysis of the law, the Law Commission’s provisional conclusion is that an electronic signature is capable in general of meeting a statutory requirement for a signature.
In November 2018 it stated it
did not consider that legislative reform was necessary to validate e- signatures.
However, our experience is that the acceptance of e-signatures is patchy and we find inconsistency between departments and even between processes within a department.
This is leading to pension provider customers and their agents frequently being refused digital requests and being required to submit paper requests with lengthy time delays and considerable expense of time and postage.
Here are our findings based on the first 200 LOAs we have submitted, We have anonymised the providers because we aren’t into naming and shaming – but if we find cases of systemic obstruction , we reserve the right to do just that!
Pension provider interaction report
Here is a quick write up of some of the problems I have been having when requesting data.
Main provider pushbacks
FCA Verification issue –
Issue – The major pushback from large providers is that they are unable to provide us with any info because we are not FCA registered.
This seems strange as we have been told an FCA registration is not required to simple request pensions data.
Lack of account number on LOA
Issue – Another major pushback from large providers is that they are unable to provide us with the info because there are no Account numbers on the LOAs.
This brings rise to the problem that a lot of people don’t know their account numbers.
Requirement of a wet signature
Issue – Some of the providers require a wet signature in order to process the request. This is instead of the predicted, digital signature that you can get on docusign. The problem therefore lies with how to get these in the best way possible?
LOA needs to be sent by post
Issue – Many companies require LOAs to be sent in via post. The issue arises here as the post is inefficient and arrival can always be denied. As you call to chase the posted LOAs, they usually can’t find any info on the customer or haven’t received any LOAs.
Post is also very hard to track.
Issue 1 –
- Hard to track progress. It is hard to track the progress of the requests for a few reasons 1. Post is hard to track 2. Replies can take a long time and are not consistent with time, ie 2 replies from the same company could come weeks apart.
Companies – all providers.
Issue 2 –
- Provider not sending the correct data/not sending the data in machine readable format.
So far, we have had a lot of providers send us data which is unclear – for example lack of dates attached to the contribution history.
Others who send their data, send it in pdf/non machine-readable format, despite our request for this on the LOA.