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Misinformation – The case study of Mrs Y

Complaint Topic: Misquote/Misinformation
Outcome: Adjudicator’s Opinion accepted
Type: Pension complaint or dispute

Mrs Y was a member of the HSC Pension Scheme (the Scheme). In June 2015, Mrs Y’s employer provided her with an estimate of her retirement benefits. A mistake was made in calculating Mrs Y’s final pensionable pay which resulted in overstated pension benefits. Mrs Y said she relied upon this information in making her decision to retire early and care for her elderly father who was terminally ill.

Following investigation, the Adjudicator provided the employer with his general observations and asked the employer to consider a resolution on the basis that the mistake was maladministration. He said it was not unreasonable to conclude that Mrs Y would not have been able to easily identify the pensionable pay figure used was incorrect or that her decision to leave her job and income of around £22,000 per annum was a significant lifestyle change. Further, Mrs Y relied on the misinformation to her detriment as had she known the correct position, she says she would have delayed her retirement and made alternative arrangements for her father’s care.

The employer agreed to resolve matters with Mrs Y and offered £5,100 (the difference between the incorrect and the correct tax-free cash lump sums) and a further £250 for the distress and upset caused

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