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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. 

Different time limits apply if your complaint is about a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund or the Financial Assistance Scheme. See 'What are the time limits for a complaint about a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund or the Financial Assistance Scheme?

Category: Using our service

Related questions

No. We can help with your complaint or dispute if you used to be a member of a scheme or think that you should be a member of a scheme.

We can also help if you are entitled to benefits from someone else’s pension scheme, for example, following a divorce or the death of a member.

In some circumstances we can help employers participating in a scheme or a trustee or manager of a scheme, if they think there is a problem with the way a scheme is run.

To find out more, visit our ‘Can I complain?’ page

As Determinations made by the Pensions Ombudsman are legally binding, you need to be 18 or over to make a complaint to us. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian will have to make the complaint on your behalf.