dispute resolution – pensions and financial (84)
by Roderick Ramage, solicitor, www.law-office.co.uk
first published by distribution to professional contacts on 22 April 2022
This article is not advice to any person and may not be taken as a definitive statement of the law in general or in any particular case. The author does not accept any responsibility for anything that any person does or does not do as a result of reading it.
On 1 April 2018 the dispute resolution service operated by TPAS (the Pensions Advisory Service) was transferred to TPO, with the expectation at the time that complaint resolution times would halve to just over five months. TPAS’s former service is now named the Early Resolution Service (ERS), the purpose of which “is to provide an informal and streamlined approach to dispute resolution”. The ERS may be used before the scheme’s IRDP has been completed if the complaint has at least been raised with it.
the financial route
Rules made by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are made by rulemaking instruments under s138G of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000). At www.handbook.fca.org.uk the FCA describes the FCA Handbook by stating that it “contains the complete record of FCA Legal Instruments and present changes made in a single, consolidated view”. Disputes about financial services are dealt with in the “Redress” block of the FCA Handbook. The (financial) ombudsman scheme was established by the FSMA 2000, Part XVI (s225 to s234B), and details of its operation are in the Redress block of the FCA Handbook, sections DISP 2 and DISP 3.
overlap of jurisdiction
A memorandum of understanding signed on 1 December 2017 by the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service recognises their different remits and provides for the handling of complaints and disputes where there is a potential overlap of jurisdiction. The scope and overlap of their respective jurisdictions are summarised in paras 6, 8 and 9, as follows, and illustrative examples of the types of complaint each ombudsman can consider are in an appendix.
6. The Pensions Ombudsman deals with matters which concern the administration (including transfers/conversion) and/or management of occupational and personal pension schemes.
8. The Financial Ombudsman Service deals with matters which predominantly concern advice in respect of the sale or marketing of Individual pension arrangements.
9. The Financial Ombudsman Service can also consider complaints about the administration of personal pensions and group personal pensions (but not complaints about the administration of occupational schemes). This means there is a jurisdictional overlap between the two ombudsmen.
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