Ombudsman tallies up

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THE Pensions Ombudsman, Michael Platt, received 2,166 complaints in his second year of operation. During the year, 59 cases were decided with 27 going wholly in favour of the complainant and 19 partly in the complainant's favour, writes Vivien Goldsmith.

The largest category of complaints concerned delays in transfers, followed by incorrect or non-payment of pensions and the calculation of pension entitlement. Over a quarter of cases were outside the ombudsman's scope, because they concerned social security benefits, a public service scheme or were beyond the three-year time limit.

The ombudsman directed that 35 people who had complained about their pension scheme should receive compensation.

But he has no power to force schemes to pay compensation for inconvenience on top of sums to put right any shortfall in their pension. Most do pay up, but one or two have refused. 'I can't force them to pay,' he said.

He does not publish the names of complainants or schemes involved in his adjudications, but is considering whether to name those who refuse to pay compensation.

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