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Resolving disputes

Resolving disputes internally

Trustees and managers of occupational pension schemes (and trust-based stakeholder schemes) are legally required to provide an internal dispute resolution procedure or IDRP. The IDRP is intended to ensure that members of pension schemes are able to raise complaints about the scheme with the trustees responsible for that scheme.

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The Pensions Ombudsman

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) is an independent organisation set up by statute to investigate complaints about the administration of pension schemes. TPO is a neutral party with the power to investigate the facts and to make legally binding decisions which are enforceable in court.

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How the Pensions Ombudsman awards compensation for distress and inconvenience

Pension schemes are complex and even the best-run schemes have to deal with complaints. The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has the power to make financial awards for ‘non-financial injustice’ in relation to member complaints. In September 2018, TPO published revised guidance on this type of compensation – here, we consider how TPO’s guidance has been applied in recent decisions, and how this can assist trustees when considering whether to offer such compensation in response to a complaint.​

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Going to court

Given the complexity of many occupational pension schemes and the ever-changing legislation that applies to them, it is unsurprising that cases concerning occupational pension schemes are quite common in the High Court.

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