Scheme:
The Police Pension Scheme
Complainant:
Mr N
Respondent:
Northumbria Police Authority
Topic:
Transfers: general
Ref:
PO-12763
Date:
Wed 11 Jul 2018
Outcome:
Upheld

Ombudsman’s Determination

Complaint Summary

Mr N has complained that the Authority transferred his pension fund to a new pension scheme without having conducted adequate checks in relation to the receiving scheme, and failed to provide him with a sufficient warning as required by the Pensions Regulator. Mr N is concerned that his entire pension fund may have been lost or misappropriated.

Summary of the Ombudsman’s Determination and reasons

The complaint is upheld against the Authority because it failed:

  • to conduct adequate checks and enquiries in relation to Mr N’s new pension scheme; to send Mr N the Pensions Regulator’s transfer fraud warning leaflet; and.
  • to engage directly with Mr N regarding the concerns it should have had with his transfer request, had it properly assessed it.

Having considered all the available evidence, I am satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that but for the Authority’s maladministration Mr N would not have proceeded with this transfer and suffered a loss.

To put matters right, the Authority shall reinstate Mr N’s accrued benefits in the Scheme, or provide equivalent benefits, adjusting for any revaluation that has arisen since the transfer. To avoid ‘double counting’, the Authority will be entitled to recover from Mr N the amount of his pension fund that the trustees of the new pension scheme are able to retrieve for him, if any.

Also, the Authority shall pay Mr N £1,000 to reflect the materially significant distress and inconvenience that Mr N has suffered as a result of the appropriate checks not having been made by it, and the recommended warning information not having been given directly to Mr N.

View determination