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Simon Group Pension Fund (PO-24361)

Complainant: Mr Y
Complaint Topic: Transfers: general
Ref: PO-24361
Outcome: Partly upheld
Appeal outcome: None
Respondent: Trustee of the Simon Group Pension Fund
Barnett Waddingham LLP
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:
Appeal: No

Ombudsman’s Determination

Outcome

The complaint is partly upheld for the following reasons:-

· The Trustee took into account irrelevant factors when it decided to decline Mr Y’s transfer request and did not explain the reasons for its refusal in a clear and consistent manner.

· It inappropriately asked Mr Y to cover the costs of further due diligence, even though it did not believe further due diligence would likely address whether the receiving scheme would qualify as a QROPS.

· BW caused delays when reviewing the information submitted for Mr Y’s transfer request.

· Certain aspects of the service Mr Y received from BW and the Trustee were unacceptable.

As a result, the Trustee shall provide redress to Mr Y in accordance with the Directions set out in paragraphs 95 to 99 below.

Complaint summary

Mr Y has complained about the following:

· the delays caused by BW and the Trustee when reviewing his transfer request, which included ‘excessive’ and ‘erroneous’ questions for due diligence;

· the Trustee’s decision to decline his transfer request to an overseas pension scheme, on the basis that it could not be satisfied that the receiving scheme was a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS);

· the Trustee’s offer to continue with further due diligence only if he covered the costs this incurred;

· how BW would not provide a forecast of his benefits, thereby forcing him to transfer out of the Fund; and

· the level of service he received from BW and the Trustee relating to his information requests, and the responses he received.

View determination

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