Mr S was consistently told, incorrectly, that he could use his transferred-in Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) to purchase additional pension in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) when he retired. He transferred his AVC into the LGPS in 2002 and was later made redundant. Mr S complained, arguing he had suffered a financial loss as he could not purchase equivalent benefits on the open market.
In 2017 he was told the regulations did not allow him to use his AVCs to purchase additional pension. He also maintained that had he been aware that he could not purchase additional pension, he would have made a lump sum payment of £10,000 into his AVC from the redundancy payment. He provided evidence to show that he was in a financial position to have done this.
On the balance of probabilities, the Ombudsman found that Mr S would have invested the £10,000 in his AVC.
The Council was directed to perform the necessary calculations to determine the loss that he suffered had the £10,000 been invested on 2 January 2003.
Mr S was also awarded £1,000 for the distress and inconvenience he suffered.
Related case studies
The case involved complaints made by members and the current trustee of the pension schemes, Dalriada Trustees Limited (Dalriada).
On joining her new employer and being automatically enrolled into a pension plan, Ms N realised that her former employer should have also automatically enrolled her into a pension plan.