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Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – Cambridgeshire Pension Fund (PO-24814)

Complainant: Mrs S
Topic: Misquote/misinformation
Ref: PO-24814
Outcome: Partly upheld
Appeal outcome: None
Respondent: LGSS Pension Services (LGSS)
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:
Appeal: No

Ombudsman’s Determination

Outcome

The complaint should be partly upheld against LGSS. The failure of LGSS to (a) include details of all three criteria which Mrs S must meet to be eligible for a transfer on its website, (b) inform her on a timely basis that she could no longer comply with one of the criteria when it first became aware that she had left her job and (c) consider her complaint properly under IDRP constituted maladministration which has caused her serious distress and inconvenience, for which she should be suitably compensated, but I find no evidence that LGSS’ decision to refuse the transfer was wrong.

Complaint summary

 

Mrs S contends that LGSS, the administrator of the Cambridgeshire Pension Fund, wrongly decided that she is ineligible to transfer her pension rights in the LGPS to another pension provider following the cessation of her pensionable employment on 9 March 2017.

Mrs S complains that:

· she was originally incorrectly led to believe during a telephone conversation in January 2017 by LGSS that the option to transfer would only be available after she had left her employment; and

· LGSS subsequently informed her tardily in June 2017 that it was not possible for her to transfer because she did not meet all the criteria specified in the Pensions Schemes Act 1993 (PSA 93) because she had left her job on 9 March 2017 instead of opting out of the LGPS.

Mrs S says that her financial and retirement plans are now “in turmoil” because she cannot access her LGPS pension rights in the way that she wanted.

She is also dissatisfied with how LGSS handled her complaint under the LGPS Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP).

In order to put matters right, she would like:

· the decision of LGSS rescinded so that she can take her LGPS pension rights in the way which it originally verbally informed her that she could; and

· LGSS to compensate her for the considerable actual financial loss and non-financial injustice which she has suffered as consequence of its mistake.

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