What are the time limits for a complaint about a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund or the Financial Assistance Scheme?
The Ombudsman - in their capacity as the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman (PPFO) - can consider complaints concerning a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) or the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS). The time limits for complaining to the PPFO about these complaints are considerably shorter than those for complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman about a personal or occupational pension.
If your complaint concerns maladministration against the PPF or a reviewable matter, you will need to submit your complaint to the PPFO within 28 days from the date the PPF’s Reconsideration Committee issues its decision. We can extend this time limit in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances are determined on the facts of each individual case and could include, for example, delays caused by an applicant’s serious ill health.
We cannot extend the time limit for complaints concerning certain reviewable matters, for example cases where the Board issues a withdrawal notice refusing to assume responsibility for specified schemes. A full list of the reviewable matters in respect of which we cannot extend time is provided under Regulation 3(2) of The Pension Protection Fund (Reference of Reviewable Matters to the PPF Ombudsman) Regulations 2005.
If you are appealing a FAS review decision, you will need to submit your appeal to the PPFO within two months from when the PPF (as Scheme Manager for the FAS) issues the FAS review decision. We can extend the two months’ time limit in exceptional circumstances.
We cannot look at complaints of maladministration against the FAS.
When someone asks us to look into a problem, they have often been trying to resolve it for some time. A lot of people feel very frustrated or distressed.
We have to be impartial and look into a problem without taking sides. Sometimes a decision that is fair in a legal sense may not seem fair to you personally.
We will always be open and honest with you about how and why we have made our decisions.
Please see our ‘How we investigate complaints’ factsheet for more details on our process and what this means to you.
But, if you have already raised the matter with your employer and it remains unresolved, please complete our application and we will look into whether we can help to resolve it.
You may also want to report the non-payment of contributions to The Pensions Regulator. Some useful information can be found in our ‘Workplace pensions – unpaid pension contributions’ factsheet.