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Bic UK Pension Scheme (CAS-55100-G3W9)

Complainant: Mr E
Complaint Topic: Benefits: overpayment (recovery of)
Ref: CAS-55100-G3W9
Outcome: Partly upheld
Respondent: Trustees of the Bic UK Pension Scheme
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:
Appeal: No

Ombudsman’s Determination

Outcome

The complaint is partially upheld against the Trustees. I am satisfied that:-

  • It is not equitable for the Trustees to recoup the overpayments that built up before 1 August 2019. 
  • Mr E also has a defence of laches to the recovery of the overpayments that built up from 22 February 2013 to, and including, 31 July 2019. 

Consequently, the Trustees shall refrain from taking any recovery action in respect of the overpayment that built up between 1 December 1996 and 31 July 2019, which amounts to £84,380. 

In relation to the part of the overpayment which built up on or after 1 August 2019, the Trustees may, subject to first obtaining the approval of the County Court for the purposes of section 91(6) of the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 95), commence recovery of the remainder of the overpayment of £6,554 at the rate of £200 per calendar month. 

In addition, the Trustees shall pay Mr E £1,000, in recognition of the significant non-financial injustice (distress and inconvenience) he has sustained as a consequence of their role in the matter. 

Complaint summary

Mr E’s complaint concerns an overpayment of pension benefits, amounting to £90,934 built up over a period of over 24 years, which the Trustees are seeking to recover through recoupment from future pension payments. The Trustees have subsequently confirmed that they are not seeking recovery of any overpayments from Mr E’s estate which have not been recouped by the date of his death.

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