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Is there a time limit on bringing a complaint to you?

There are time limits within which complaints need to be brought the Pensions Ombudsman. In most cases, applications need to be made to us within three years of the event being complained about, or, if later, within three years of when you were aware of this issue or should have been aware of it. 
 
These time limits can only be extended where reasonable to do so, for example if it can be shown that the complaint was delayed because of serious ill health, pressing family concerns, it was held up with another organisation (such as the Financial Ombudsman Service) or if reasonable continuous and concerted efforts were being made to resolve matters. 
 
If more than one event is being complained about, it may be that some are within our time limits and others are outside them.  
 
Similarly, if the complaint is about something that a pension scheme does regularly, such as paying annual increases, any failure to pay these more than three years ago could probably not be looked at by us.  But we may be able to consider a complaint about the non-payment of increases during the last three years. 

Category: Using our service

Related questions

I want to make a complaint about my pension - should I complain to The Pensions Ombudsman straight away? Toggle accordion

Before you submit a complaint to us, you should have given the party you think is at fault a chance to put things right. If you are not sure who you should complain to, please contact us.

We will generally only consider a complaint where the party you think is at fault has issued a response or has not done so within a reasonable timeframe (generally around eight weeks). See our factsheet ‘Complaining to the party/parties at fault’ for more information.

I don’t live in the UK, can I still make a complaint? Toggle accordion

If your pension scheme or provider is based in the UK, you can still bring a complaint to us wherever you live.

You will need to give the party you think is at fault a chance to put things right and check if you are within time to bring a complaint to us.

Usually, you need to contact us within three years of the event you are complaining about happening or within three years of when you first knew about it (or should have known about it). Sometimes, this time limit can be extended. For example, we will use our discretion to extend this time limit for new applicants who have been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

The number to phone us from overseas is: +44 (0) 207 630 2200.