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NHS Pension Scheme (CAS-29847-X2X0)

Complainant: Mr R
Complaint Topic: Death benefits
Ref: CAS-29847-X2X0
Outcome: Partly upheld
Respondent: 1) East London NHS Foundation Trust
2) NHS Business Services Authority
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Appeal: No

Ombudsman’s Determination


Mr R’s complaint against the Trust and NHS BSA is partly upheld. To put matters right, NHS BSA and the Trust shall each pay £1,000 to Mr R, in recognition of the severe distress and inconvenience they have caused.

Complaint summary

Mr R’s complaint is that:

  • NHS BSA incorrectly refused to pay death in service benefits from the Scheme for his late wife, Mrs R, on the grounds that she was a contractor working for the Trust’s casual worker arrangement (the Bank), not an employee, and therefore, not eligible to join the Scheme.
  • The Trust and NHS BSA misled Mrs R because the Trust required her to change her status from contractor to Bank employee in order to comply with amended tax regulations (IR35), admitted her to the Scheme, but then reversed their decision after she died.
  • The Trust and NHS BSA caused great distress to him and his family in their handling of his complaint.

View determination


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