Our role is to investigate and decide pension complaints between members of pension schemes (including personal pensions) or their beneficiaries, employers, trustees, managers and scheme administrators. We are not a regulator ("watchdog") or a consumer champion or a trade body. We settle pension complaints, without taking sides. So when we look at a complaint, we deal with all sides fairly. We are completely independent and impartial.
The Pensions Ombudsman was established with effect from April 1991 by Act of Parliament. The statutory powers and provisions governing us can presently be found in sections 145-152 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (as amended) which make up Part X of that Act.
They are supplemented by Regulations.
The Pensions Ombudsman is a person appointed by the Secretary of State. Tony King is currently the Pensions Ombudsman. The Secretary of State may also appoint a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman, who has the same powers as the Pensions Ombudsman. Jane Irvine is currently the Deputy Pensions Ombudsman.
The Pensions Ombudsman appoints staff to help conduct investigations and fulfil his functions. There are currently around 35 staff employed in a variety of roles.
Any decision by the Pensions Ombudsman or his Deputy is final and legally binding on all the parties to the complaint.