When dealing with member complaints, trustees may wish to offer a small sum to compensate the member for any distress and inconvenience they have suffered. Usually this will reflect the amount the Pensions Ombudsman might award if the complaint were to be taken to the Ombudsman. Guidance published by the Ombudsman therefore provides a useful benchmark for trustees.
The Ombudsman has recently published revised guidance on redress for non-financial injustice (i.e. distress and inconvenience) caused by maladministration. The guidance now sets out fixed amounts for non-financial injustice awards, with the aim of enhancing transparency, creating consistency and managing expectations for all parties. The guidance notes, however, that the Ombudsman will always take account of the individual circumstances of the case.
|Category of non-financial injustice||Description (one or more factors to apply – depends on facts of the case)||Amount of award|
||More than £2,000|
Is any action required?
The new approach takes immediate effect for all open and new cases. Trustees should therefore take the revised guidance into account in dealing with all ongoing and future member complaints.