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Local Government Pension Scheme (PO-6773)

Complainant: Mrs Catherine Butterworth
Complaint Topic: Benefits: refusal/failure to pay or late payment
Ref: PO-6773
Outcome: Partly upheld
Appeal outcome: Upheld
Respondent: Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:
Appeal: Yes

Complaint summary

Mrs Butterworth’s complaints about PCCGM are as follows:

  • PCCGM has failed to honour a commitment made in an offer letter dated 4 February 2008, by which its predecessor authority, Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA), agreed to allow her to “retire early with maximum augmentation” (Complaint A).
  • PCCGM failed to comply with clause 4.2 of her compromise agreement with GMPA which granted her an entitlement to an unreduced pension payable from age 55 (Complaint B).

Summary of the Ombudsman’s determination and reasons

The complaint is partly upheld against PCCGM. Any claim relating to the offer letter dated 4 February 2008 has been compromised. However, while clause 4.2 is void and unenforceable a contractual estoppel has arisen. The consequence of this is that PCCGM is estopped from avoiding liability arising out of the promise it conferred in clause 4.2. It follows that Mrs Butterworth is entitled to receive an unreduced pension from age 55 and that PCCGM must provide it.

 

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