News type:
Fri 1 Dec 2017

The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service have signed an updated version of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the framework for co-operation and the exchange of information on complaints that fall within their respective remits.

The MoU aims to ensure that anyone with a pension complaint is aware of the respective organisations and is clearly directed to the right organisation so that their complaint is addressed properly and promptly.

The MoU acknowledges that both organisations have jurisdiction over different areas of pension matters, with some overlap, and that co-operation will lead to a smoother customer journey and better complaints redress.

The Pensions Ombudsman deals with complaints and disputes which concern the administration and/or management of both occupational and personal pension schemes, while the Financial Ombudsman Service investigates complaints about the advice received when taking out a pension. They can also help with some complaints about the administration of personal pension schemes. Details of the updated MoU is set out in explanatory leaflet on the organisations’ respective websites.

After 12 months the MoU will be reviewed to assess how it is working. The aim is to provide a clearer and simpler process for customers in resolving their pension complaint.

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority will today launch a consultation on changes to the FCA Handbook rules for authorised firms in respect of signposting consumers to The Pensions Ombudsman as well as the Financial Ombudsman Service. The consultation closes on 1 February 2018 with any changes due to come into effect on 1 April 2018.

Anthony Arter, The Pensions Ombudsman said: “As you may know we have been working with the Financial Ombudsman Service to review the language used in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to help make it clearer for customers. The MoU between The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service has now been updated.

“This important document should ensure that the customer is aware where they can go to when they need help to resolve their pension complaints.

“In addition, we are extremely pleased that the Financial Conduct Authority has detailed its plans to update signposting to the public and pensions industry to provide clarity in respect of the services provided by the two organisations.

“We welcome the decision that the MoU will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure that the updated MoU is working well for the benefit of both the public and the pensions industry.”

For more information on the MoU visit The Pensions Ombudsman’s website.