In this case the PO upheld a complaint that a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, Mrs Tuttle, relied on an incorrect benefit quotation when she decided to retire age 54.

The quotation provided did not incorporate an appropriate actuarial reduction to reflect Mrs Tuttle's retirement at age 54. The PO took the view that, had it not been for the incorrect benefit quotation, Mrs Tuttle would not have retired at age 54; she would have instead retired at age 55. The PO decided that, on this basis, there were two heads of compensation to which Mrs Tuttle was entitled:

  • The equivalent of the pension that she would have received at age 55; and
  • Compensation based on the net income she would have received in her normal employment had she stayed on in that employment until age 55.

The PO also decided that it was relevant to take into account the fact that Mrs Tuttle had effectively mitigated her loss by working extra shifts for the Marie Curie Cancer Centre on her retirement at age 54. Therefore, in deciding the compensation to be paid to her, an appropriate deduction would be made to reflect the amount earned by Mrs Tuttle by reason of the extra shifts undertaken at the Marie Cure Cancer Centre for the period between her actual retirement and reaching age 55.

The case is interesting in that it demonstrates that the PO considers it has sufficient standing to order a remedy based on loss of earnings (as opposed to simply loss of benefits under a pension scheme). It also shows that the PO considers there is a duty to mitigate loss on the part of the pension scheme member and that it will closely examine all amounts involved to arrive at suitable compensation.