Pensions Ombudsman round-up: September 2015

Pensions Alert (UK)

In Pensions Ombudsman round-up, we report on some recent determinations made by the Pensions Ombudsman (PO) and Deputy Pensions Ombudsman (DPO), and provide statistics on the outcomes of complaints and the range of awards made for distress and inconvenience.

  • The first case concerns the extent to which the employer has a duty to provide information to members about benefit options, in this case, ill health retirement and a serious ill health commutation lump sum.
  • The second case concerns the calculation of a member's benefits and is useful in that the PO expresses the view that trustees can defer taking action to equalise GMPs while this issue generally remains unresolved.
  • We then report on two determinations concerning delays in paying transfers. The first of these cases concerns a DB scheme and is useful for trustees in that the PO took a flexible approach to the statutory deadline for providing a statement of entitlement, and concluded that requests by the administrator for certain information before making the transfer did not constitute unreasonable delay. The second of these cases relates to a DC scheme and is notable for the PO's comment that a month was a sufficient period to disinvest and pay the transfer, although the circumstances of the case were relatively unusual and it will therefore be interesting to see what comment is made in future cases on this point.
  • In the May edition of Pensions Ombudsman round-up, we reported on the determination of the lead of a number of complaints concerning the review of commutation factors in the firefighters' and police pension schemes. In this newsletter, we report on subsequent developments in relation to these cases including an update from the PO in late August which includes some interesting commentary about the calculation of interest on late payments.

Read our Pensions Ombudsman round-up: September 2015