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The importance of TPO’s Volunteers

Date:

On this Volunteers’ Week, we would like to say thank you to our Volunteer Advisers, who last year helped to resolve 1,442 pension complaints during 2020/21.

In March 2018, the dispute resolution work carried out by The Pensions Advisory Service was transferred to TPO, which included the Early Resolution Team and accompanying network of Volunteer Advisers.

There are now around 200 volunteers at TPO; both current and former pension professionals with either 10 years’ pensions experience or 5 years’ experience with a pension qualification, who volunteer their free time to help resolve disputes.

Anthony Arter, Pensions Ombudsman, says:

“TPO is the only Ombudsman service to have a network of volunteers. Our Volunteer Advisers are one of TPO’s greatest assets, and I have been very fortunate to oversee the transfer of the Early Resolution Service. This was an important move in the right direction for our customers and also the pensions industry. The transfer was proposed by me shortly after I was appointed as the Pensions Ombudsman. I was keen for pension disputes to be handled in one place and to simplify the process for customers by enabling TPO to give both informal and formal resolutions.

We are therefore in a very unique position. We have a vast amount of knowledge and skills within our volunteer network, which directly benefits the service our customers receive. The dedication, expertise and generosity of time given is unmatched and without this, TPO would not be able to resolve as many disputes and help as many of our customers with our existing resource.

From 2018-2021, our Volunteer Advisers helped us to resolve over 5,000 complaints. Without the network of volunteers’, there is no doubt we would require higher staff numbers and an increased levy budget. I am incredibly grateful for their contribution in providing an excellent service. They bring impartiality, technical knowledge and experience to help resolve complaints informally, usually without the need to use formal routes.

Volunteering is a great opportunity to broaden your pension knowledge and make a difference to people’s lives. There are various benefits including free training workshops, networking opportunities and access to a TPO web-based Adviser site. Volunteers receive different types of cases such as mistakes, delays, ill health and death benefits. However, if you would prefer other specialist areas, we can allocate you cases accordingly. 

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining us.”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering, please email paul.day@pensions-ombudsman.org.uk or see further information on volunteering at TPO.

View the Volunteer Adviser role description and apply online now.

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