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TPO increases the number of pension complaint closures by 49% in 2022/23

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The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) today publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2022/23. 

The report highlights the continuing increase in demand for its services, with the number of complaints it received increasing by 17% from 6,216 in 2021/2022 to 7,280 in 2022/23. TPO also increased the number of complaint closures by 49% compared to the previous year - closing more complaints than it received (5,221 in 2021/22 to 7,784 in 2022/23). This was achieved due to the development of new ways of working that drove efficiencies and some additional funding from DWP that provided additional resource.

This year also saw the Pensions Dishonesty Unit (PDU) publish its first Determinations. To date the PDU has issued Determinations directing the return of approximately £15 million to the schemes involved. TPO has secured funding until March 2025 to continue this work.

Despite these successes TPO reports that, with increasing demand, waiting times continue to be a significant issue and that addressing these is the main priority of the organisation. 

Dominic Harris, Pensions Ombudsman said:

“This is my first Annual Report as Pensions Ombudsman and my team should be very proud of what they have achieved. However, there is more work to do in order to meet rising demand and provide an excellent service. Reducing existing waiting times is our top priority and this annual report shows that with the right tools we are in a good place to meet the challenges that face us.”

Our caseload

  • We received 9,841 contacts by phone, LiveChat, email and post from people seeking help with pension issues

  • We generated 8,592 new general enquiries

  • We received 7,280 new pension complaints, representing an 17% increase on the previous year

  • The three most common topics of closed pensions complaints were: contributions, administration and pension transfers.

     

Our performance

  • We resolved 8,619 general enquiries (71 were carried forward from 2021/22)

  • Overall, we closed 7,784 overall pension complaints, representing a 49% increase on the previous year

  • We closed 5,438 pension complaints at the application and assessment stages 

  • We resolved 1,572 pension complaints informally through our Early Resolution Service

  • We resolved 774 pension complaints through our Adjudication teams

  • Of our overall closed pension complaints, we closed 326 through formal Determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman and Deputy Pensions Ombudsman – this represents 4.2%

  • Around 51.2% of Determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman were upheld, at least in part 

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