Submit a complaint
Submit a complaint
Once you have checked that your complaint is something we can deal with, you will need to submit an application and send us any documents related to your complaint.
There are different applications depending on whether your complaint is about an occupational or private pension; or a complaint about a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund or the Financial Assistance Scheme.
Have you checked that we can deal with your complaint?
We can look at complaints about how personal and occupational pension schemes are run. We can also help if you have a complaint about a decision made by the Pension Protection Fund or the Financial Assistance Scheme.
But there are some things we can’t investigate, so you should check the information on this page to see if your complaint is something we can deal with.
What are you complaining about?
This may be a pension scheme provided by your employer (which might be an occupational pension scheme or a personal pension plan) or a pension you have set up yourself.
What happens after a decision has been made
If your complaint has been determined by the Ombudsman, find out what happens next.
We publish all Determinations on our website. The name of the party being complained about is published but we anonymise the details of the person making the complaint. Removing the name and any other identifying personal data increases the protection of your personal information.
In certain cases, we may decide not to anonymise the decision. Examples might be:
- where the complaint is a particularly notable one with wider public interest implications
- where the name of the person making the complaint is actually relevant to the issue – perhaps a claim to a pension entitlement where the policy cannot be found or has been allocated to someone else.
If we are considering not anonymising a decision, or we are asked to do so by a party to the complaint, we will ask all parties involved in the complaint for their comments. However, ultimately, this will be a matter for the Ombudsman to decide on a case-by-case basis.
From time to time we will also publish Adjudicators’ Opinions which are considered to be of interest.
Enforcing a Determination
If your complaint has been upheld or partly upheld by the Ombudsman, it is possible that, in the Determination of your complaint, the Ombudsman has asked the party at fault to take steps to put things right. These are called ‘directions’. If the Ombudsman’s directions have not been followed, you can take action to enforce the Determination. We cannot help you to do this as we do not have the power to enforce the Ombudsman’s Determinations.
In England and Wales, Determinations are enforced through the County Court. The appropriate hearing centre is the one nearest to the party who has not complied.
In Scotland, enforcement is through the Sheriff Office. In Northern Ireland it may be through either the Enforcement of Judgments Office or the County Court, depending on the nature of an Ombudsman’s directions.
What you need to do
To start enforcement action you will need to provide the court with a certified copy of the Determination. You can get this from the Adjudicator who dealt with your complaint.
Go to useful contacts for a list of websites and information about enforcing an Ombudsman Determination.
Appealing a Determination
A Determination is final and binding on all parties to a complaint. This means we cannot change the Determination, except for minor errors such as typing mistakes.
If you want to challenge a Determination on a point of law, you must appeal to the High Court in England or Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland or the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
This is a statutory right and you do not need our consent to lodge an appeal. But we always recommend you seek professional advice before proceeding.
There are very short timescales for making an appeal and the timescales are different depending on where you are in the UK.
Find out what you need to do in how to appeal.