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Failure to pay contributions – The case study of Mr S

Complaint Topic: Contributions
Outcome: Upheld
Type: Pension complaint or dispute

Mr S worked for Border Steelwork Structures Limited (BSSL). Mr S intended to retire in June 2018 but was unable to do so as his pension issues were not resolved. He complained to TPO about irregular employee and employer contributions paid into his pension plan.

Mr S was advised in July 2017 by the scheme’s administrators, that BSSL had not made contributions to his plan or passed his contributions to them. He contacted his employer who told him they would pay all outstanding contributions by the end of June 2018. 

By October 2018, the contributions were still outstanding. Mr S contacted us. Our Early Resolution Team (ERT) contacted the firm and was advised they were still working on the contribution history. We set a deadline of 28 February 2019 to pay the missing contributions.

BSSL did not respond so the case was passed for a formal investigation. We contacted BSSL on a number of occasions but received no response. 

The Ombudsman upheld Mr S’ complaint.

In addition to putting Mr S in the position he should’ve been in had all employee and employer contributions been made at the correct levels and at the correct times, the Ombudsman awarded Mr S £3,000 in recognition of the exceptional distress and inconvenience he suffered as a result of BSSL’s various errors and inaction. BSSL had impeded any early reconciliation and resolution despite having multiple opportunities to do so. 

If Mr S claimed his pension within 28 days of his pension being reconciled, the Ombudsman also told BSSL to make any additional payments needed to bring his pension options in line with what he would have received, had he been able to claim his pension from the end of June 2018. Additionally, the Ombudsman reported BSSL to the Pensions Regulator.

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