Pensions Ombudsman Focus Winter 2023 edition
Welcome to Pensions Ombudsman Focus for the Winter 2023 period. In this edition, we look at six recent complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman, including:
- a decision in relation to a trustee’s exercise of discretion not to apply discretionary increases where the scheme rules allowed for increases to be provided at the trustee’s discretion having regard to the increase in cost-of-living;
- a decision regarding a transfer case where there were significant delays and deficient communications to the member and the member sought compensation for a loss of investment returns due to delays;
- a decision in relation to a trustee’s refusal to backdate an ill-health early retirement pension where there had been little difference to the evidence in question over time;
- a decision in relation to schemes offering ‘alternative’ investments such as cryptoassets, and the importance of clear communication and managing expectations where members enquire about investing in these assets; and
- two decisions showing the importance of trustees engaging proactively with complaints before they are referred to the Ombudsman, even where the issues concern historical issues for which information is not readily available, or if the trustee considers the complaint unmeritorious.