News type:
News
Date:
Wed 22 Apr 2015

22 April 2015

What are the options following recent decisions on complaints against providers for paying a transfer value?

In a pension liberation update of today we summarised the outcome of two complaints that pension providers had not made adequate checks before transferring to the Capita Oak Pension Scheme on request in 2012. Neither was upheld.

People who have transferred to the Capita Oak Pension Scheme and are concerned about their pension money may be considering complaining to us about:

  • the Capita Oak trustee for not responding to requests, or
  • the original pension scheme for making the transfer.

Complaints against the trustee of the Capita Oak Pension Scheme about transferring out of that scheme.

We published the determination in the case of Mr X in December last year.  We said that if he asked for a transfer-out to a pension scheme that could accept the transfer, the trustee must pay it. Mr X can enforce payment in the court if he wishes. However, we also said that we didn’t know whether enforcement action would be effective, since it is not clear what has happened to the assets.

We may make similar directions for future cases (though, as with Mr X, we don’t know whether money can be found should they be enforced.)  However, before you come to us you should first write to the trustee asking for a transfer, ideally naming the scheme that you want to transfer to.

If you need help or advice you can speak to the Pensions Advisory Service.

Complaints that the transfer should not have been paid to the Capita Oak Pension Scheme

In the cases published today we said that the transfers were requested before the Pensions Regulator had issued guidance on the subject; they were to a registered pension scheme and Mr Winning appeared to have a statutory right to transfer.  There was no reason for the transfers to be withheld. And even if the providers had expressed concerns to Mr Winning he might have insisted. Overall, there had been no administrative failure by the providers in complying with his request. The two cases are PO-5799 and PO-5930.

If your case is similar to those cases, a complaint is unlikely to be upheld.

However, if you think that a pension scheme or pension company should not have paid the transfer value to Capita Oak, then before complaining to us you will need to have used the complaint procedures. You should write to them setting out what you consider they have done wrong and asking for the matter to be treated as a formal complaint. If the complaint is against an occupational scheme (usually a scheme connected to your job), you should ask for it to be considered under the internal dispute resolution procedure.

When you write – or if you complain to us – you will need to explain why your case is significantly different to the two published cases.

If you need help or advice you can speak to the Pensions Advisory Service.


28 January 2015

We have recently published decisions about complaints that providers had blocked transfers on the grounds that they were related to “pension liberation” or “pension scams”. We understand that in the light of those decisions people are considering bringing complaints that transfers were made, but should have been blocked. In particular those complaints may be about transfers to the Capita Oak Pension Scheme.

We are presently investigating one complaint of that kind. We expect to publish our decision in the first half of this year. It won’t be binding on anyone except the parties to it, but it will give a good indication of our general approach. That will help the transferring schemes and scheme members deal with other individual cases.

Before that case is published there is no need to make your own application to us about the same or similar issues. If you did we would have to “park” your case until the first case is decided – and then we would probably ask you and/or the transferring scheme to look at your case again in the light of our decision.

If it does become necessary for you to complain to us, the time from now until the first case is published will not count against you for the purpose of deciding whether your complaint has been made within our time limit. (That would usually be three years from when the transfer was made, but potentially longer than that where the delay was reasonable).

Although there is no need to bring these complaints to us now, if you need to in due course you must have fully used the transferring scheme’s complaint procedures before you do. So you may wish to consider writing to the scheme or pension provider that made the transfer – setting out what you consider they have done wrong and asking for the matter to be treated as a formal complaint. If the complaint is against an occupational scheme (usually a scheme connected to your job), you should ask for it to be considered under the internal dispute resolution procedure.

We will publish further updates as matters progress.