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Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PO-3942)

Complainant: Mr S
Topic: Divorce
Ref: PO-3942
Outcome: Not upheld
Respondent: 1. Cabinet Office;
2. MyCSP
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:

Ombudsman’s Determination

Outcome

I do not uphold Mr S’ complaint and no further action is required by the Cabinet Office or MyCSP.

My reasons for reaching this decision are explained in more detail below.

Complaint summary

Mr S is unhappy because the Cabinet Office and MyCSP are trying to recover an overpayment from him.

The overpayment is for part of the pension income he received from the Scheme between 12 April 2012 and 12 August 2012, after a Pension Sharing Order (PSO) between him and his ex-wife came into effect and was implemented respectively.

The overpayment arose because Mr S’ ex-wife was entitled to part of his pension income once the PSO came into effect, but he was paid the full pension income until the date the PSO was implemented.

At the time, Mr S was already sharing his pension income with his ex-wife as part of an informal arrangement, and he had agreed to do this until she received payments directly from the Scheme. He understood there would be an overpayment, but he says he was led to believe his wife would receive four months’ worth of arrears once the PSO was implemented. Mr S and his ex-wife had agreed that she would then pay him the arrears and he would use them to offset the overpayment. However, once the PSO was implemented, Mr S was informed that she was not entitled to any benefits until she was age 60. As she had not reached age 60 at the time, there were no arrears to be paid to her and he had nothing to offset against the overpayment due.

The Cabinet Office has overall responsibility for the Scheme, and MyCSP is the administrator. At the time though, the administrator for the Scheme was Capita.

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