Local Government Pension Scheme – Hampshire Pension Fund (PO-21489)
Mrs H has complained that the Council failed to carry out proper due diligence before it transferred her benefits from the Fund to The Focusplay Retirement Benefits Scheme (the Scheme). Mrs H is concerned that her entire pension fund may have been lost or misappropriated.
Summary of the Ombudsman’s Determination and reasons
The complaint shall be upheld against the Council because it failed:
to consider correctly whether or not Mrs H had a statutory right to a transfer; and
to engage directly with Mrs H regarding the concerns it should have had with her transfer request, had the Council properly assessed it.
Having considered all the available evidence, I am satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that but for the Council’s maladministration Mrs H would not have proceeded with this transfer and suffered a loss.
To put matters right, the Council shall reinstate Mrs H’s accrued benefits in the Fund, or provide equivalent benefits, adjusting for any revaluation that has arisen since the transfer and allowing for any lump sum that Mrs H has already received from the Scheme. To avoid “double counting”, the Council will be entitled to recover from Mrs H the amount of her pension fund that in future the trustees of the Scheme are able to retrieve for her, if any.
Also, the Council shall pay Mrs H £500 to reflect the significant distress and inconvenience that Mrs H has suffered as a result of the Council not undertaking proper due diligence before it made the transfer payment.
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