Ill health – The case study of Mr M
Mr A was in receipt of an ill health pension after a cancer diagnosis in 2014. Fortunately, after a period of recovery, Mr A felt well enough to return to work and his pension was stopped. He was initially told by the Scheme’s administrators that if his illness worsened, his pension could be reinstated.
Unfortunately, Mr A’s condition did worsen, and he became unable to work. He asked if his pension could be reinstated. But he was told by the administrators that the Scheme rules did not allow a pension to be restarted after it has been stopped. He was told a pension could now only be paid once he reached his normal pension age. Mr A subsequently contacted TPO.
ERS reviewed the Scheme’s rules. It was the Resolution Specialist’s view that the Scheme rules did allow, at the Trustees’ discretion, for the possibility that the pension could be restarted if Mr A again met the ill health eligibility criteria.
The Resolution Specialist highlighted to the administrators the rule which they felt gave the Trustees the power to restart the pension. ERS also asked if Mr A’s request had been put to the Trustees.
The administrators did not initially respond, so ERS suggested to Mr A that he ask that his complaint was considered under the Scheme’s IDRP.
The outcome was that the Trustees agreed with the Resolution Specialist’s interpretation of the rules. They agreed to refer Mr A’s request to their medical advisers, for their opinion on his ill health and capacity to work.
After receiving advice from their medical advisers, the Trustees agreed that Mr A’s pension should be reinstated, backdated to the date of his original request for reinstatement.
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