The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service have made clear the scope of their respective remits on complaints about pensions. Together they have updated their "Memorandum of Understanding”" which will help improve communication and cooperation between the two organisations and assist in information sharing during investigations.
The updated "Memorandum of Understanding" will also ensure that people bringing complaints are directed to the right body, ensuring that their complaint is dealt with as efficiently as possible.
Whilst The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service have different jurisdictions regarding pensions matters, there is some overlap which the new understanding will help clarify. The Pensions Ombudsman generally deals with complaints about the administration and management of pension schemes, while the Financial Ombudsman Service generally investigates complaints concerning the advice that people receive when taking out a pension. They can also deal with a limited number of complaints about the administration of personal pension schemes but not workplace pensions. The Financial Ombudsman Service is restricted in terms of the compensation it can reward too, up to £150,000 whereas The Pensions Ombudsman has no upper limit to the compensation that it can award.
Anthony Arter, The Pensions Ombudsman said: "As you may know we have been working with the Financial Ombudsman Service to review the language used in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to help make it clearer for customers. The MoU between The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service has now been updated."
"This important document should ensure that the customer is aware where they can go to when they need help to resolve their pension complaints."
"In addition, we are extremely pleased that the Financial Conduct Authority has detailed its plans to update signposting to the public and pensions industry to provide clarity in respect of the services provided by the two organisations."
"We welcome the decision that the MoU will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure that the updated MoU is working well for the benefit of both the public and the pensions industry."