News type:
Mon 17 Sep 2018

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) is pleased with the sensible approach taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR), as set out in the Signed Letter on the move of Dispute Resolution from TPAS to TPO, which clarifies the signposting provisions for referring to TPO and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

DWP and TPR’s joint statement confirms that, despite the current absence of legislation, there would be no purpose served in considering penalties for schemes referring disputes and complaints to TPO that have not first gone through the scheme’s internal dispute resolution process (IDRP).

Anthony Arter, Pensions Ombudsman stated: “This is very welcome news for the pensions industry. Since TPAS’ dispute resolution function transferred to TPO in March 2018, there has been some understandable reluctance on the part of schemes to change their signposting and risk non-compliance with existing legislation. This clarifies the situation for everyone. TPAS deals with guidance requests and TPO deals with all complaints and disputes. Customers using our Early Resolution Service at TPO will not be expected to have first used a scheme’s IDRP if the parties are happy with that.”

Claire Ryan, Legal Director at TPO said; “This announcement is incredibly helpful for customers of both TPO and TPAS. We are delighted that DWP and TPR have joined forces to embrace an immediate workaround to the current legislative constraints.”

For helpful guidance on signposting to TPO, please see our Signposting template.