Individuals (pension scheme members)

We may be able to help if your complaint is about the people who run your pension scheme – for example employers, trustees, scheme administrators or managers.

You will need to tell us how you have been affected. For example you may have lost money or suffered non-financial injustice, such as distress or inconvenience.

Unless there are special circumstances we can only deal with problems you became aware of within the last three years.

We can help if you:

  • are (or were) a member of the pension scheme
  • think you should be a member of the pension scheme
  • are the widow, widower, surviving civil partner or dependant of a member who has died.

A ‘member’ is anyone who has joined a pension scheme and is entitled to payments from it now, or in the future. This includes people who have a pension sharing order.

We may not be able to help if your complaint is in the process of being considered by a tribunal, court or another Ombudsman.

What you need to do

Step 1

First you need to complain to whoever you think is at fault and give them a chance to put things right. You should telephone or write a letter explaining clearly what you think has gone wrong – the Pensions Advisory Service can support you to do this and can often help sort out the problem at an early stage. If your scheme has a formal Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process, you should ask for details.

Step 2

If you have tried to resolve a problem but haven’t received a response; or if you have reached the end of the complaints process and aren’t satisfied with the outcome, you can ask us to investigate.

Appointing a representative

You can nominate someone else to help you bring your complaint to us. This could be a member of your family, a friend or a professional person such as a solicitor. However you are unlikely to get any costs repaid (even if your complaint is upheld) because our service is designed so that people should not normally need professional help.

If you appoint a representative we will write to them directly while we are processing your application and throughout the case investigation.

Bringing your complaint to us

You’ll need to send us an application form along with any documents related to your complaint. The application form outlines the information you need to provide and has details about how we will deal with any personal information you send us. If you are appointing a representative you should tell us on your application.

Make an application

Download an application form if you think your complaint is something we can deal with.