In a complaint brought against Barclays Bank PLC (the Bank) and Barclays Pension Fund Trustees Ltd the Pensions Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) held that there had been maladministration in the information that had been provided to a scheme member about the increases of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) in-payment. However, the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint as the applicant had suffered no loss.
In this case the applicant complained that he had been misled into believing that his pension was inflation proof because of information provided by the respondents. In support of his complaint the applicant referred to information about increases in GMPs contained in the member’s booklet and a leaflet. The complainant also requested that the respondents disclose information about members similarly affected. The complainant argued that this was essential for the Ombudsman to decide on his application.
The Ombudsman held that there had been maladministration because the information about GMPs provided by the Bank may have been correct for most members but failed to point out that, for certain members, the position could be different.
The Ombudsman commented that where there was a finding of maladministration he would consider whether the maladministration caused any financial and/or non-financial loss and whether the recipient of the incorrect information relied on it to his financial detriment. The Ombudsman held that the £600 compensation for non-financial loss already paid by the Bank was sufficient.
The Ombudsman also refused to direct the Bank to disclose the statistics required by the applicant because he only dealt with individual complaints and had no power to order redress generally or for any particular class of members.