In Lambden (74315/3), the Pension Ombudsman awarded the claimant , a police officer, £5,000 for inconvenience and distress suffered. The standard award for inconvenience and distress granted by the Pensions Ombudsman does not normally exceed a few hundred pounds and should not, according to guidance given by the High Court in Swansea City Council v Johnson  1 All ER 863, exceed £1,000 except in exceptional circumstances.
In this case the Ombudsman said that the circumstances were "highly exceptional". Due to an error overstating the applicant's service, Mr Lambden had believed he could draw a full pension at the age of 50 and, relying on this, resigned and moved to New Zealand to join his family only to be told he would have to come back and work for another four years in order to get a full pension.
The Ombudsman said that Mr Lambden had two choices: either to abandon his plans and move his family back to the UK or live here without them, or live in New Zealand for a number of years without a pension. The Ombudsman said that he had no doubt that the situation had caused Mr Lambden "considerable distress" – there was medical evidence of it - nor had the error, when discovered been "softened by apology or explanation". These circumstances therefore were highly exceptional so as to justify the high award.