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TPO increases productivity for the second year running


The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) today publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2021/22. The report highlights achievements over the last year which include a significant increase in productivity for the second year running and the launch of the Pensions Dishonesty Unit. It also reports on the challenges which include a continuing increase in demand for its services.

Anthony Arter, Pensions Ombudsman said:

“It has been another busy year and I am incredibly proud of what TPO has achieved. 

In 2021/22, we closed 5,221 pension complaints – an 8% increase in productivity compared to 2020/21. We achieved this despite an 11.7% increase in demand.  For several years now our funding has not kept pace with the rise in demand for our service.  This means that despite significant increases in our efficiency, customers are waiting far too long for a resolution to their complaints. The pandemic caused additional delays which resulted in customer waiting times becoming unacceptably long and we are committed to reducing the time taken to resolve a complaint. We have now received an increase in budget for additional staff which will help us to address this. 

Significantly, during 2021/22, we launched the new Pensions Dishonesty Unit (PDU) which aims to hold wrongdoers to account and ensure they repay lost lifetime pension savings to all scheme members. This is a significant development for the industry; enabling quicker redress and the recovery of funds that may otherwise not be achieved, directly from the guilty party. It is currently being run as a pilot and we have recently received confirmation that funding has been extended to March 2023.”

Our caseload

  • We received 11,442 contacts by phone, LiveChat, email and post from people who thought we may be able to help them
  • We generated 8,436 new general enquiries
  • We received 6,216 new pension complaints, representing an 11.7% increase on the previous year
  • The three most common topics of closed pensions complaints were: pension transfers, retirement benefits and misquote/misinformation.

Our performance

  • We resolved 8,437 general enquiries (72 were carried forward from 2020/21)
  • Overall, we closed 5,221 overall pension complaints, representing an 8% increase on the previous year
  • We closed 3,118 pension complaints at the application and assessment stages 
  • We resolved 1,319 pension complaints informally through our ERS
  • We resolved 784 pension complaints through our Adjudication teams
  • Of our overall closed pension complaints, we closed 257 through formal Determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman* – this represents 4.9%
  • Around 35% of Determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman were upheld, at least in part 

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