Pensions Ombudsman Focus Spring 2023 edition


Welcome to the Pensions Ombudsman Focus for the Spring 2023 period. In this edition, we look at seven recent complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman, including:

  • a decision which reiterates the need for clear communication with members when errors occur, and provides insight into when a member’s costs in relation to a complaint may be recoverable; 
  • a decision showing the importance of processing ill health early retirement claims in a timely manner; 
  • a decision which demonstrates the limitations of the “change of position” defence in relation to recovery of overpayments, where the member has failed to make reasonable enquiries as to their entitlement;
  • a decision reiterating that a finding of maladministration is separate to any financial loss suffered by the member; 
  • a decision showing the importance of documenting precisely what communication has been made with a member, which may be crucial when considering any “change of position” defence to an overpayment; 
  • a decision which reiterates that, when considering a complaint in respect of transfers and pensions liberation, the Ombudsman will look to the standards expected of the trustee at the time of the transfer and not with the benefit of hindsight; and
  • a decision showing the importance of having robust procedures in place to manage conflicts of interest, and for professional trustees to be assertive in upholding their duties and to avoid being influenced by other trustees. 

Read the Spring 2023 edition