Appeals against determinations of the Pensions Ombudsman
Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers and David Gallagher of Fieldfisher
Appeals against determinations of the Pensions Ombudsman

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers and David Gallagher of Fieldfisher provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Appeals against determinations of the Pensions Ombudsman
  • The appeal process in summary
  • What determinations and decisions may be the subject of an appeal?
  • Appeal on a point of law
  • Should the Pensions Ombudsman be a party to the appeal?
  • The appeal hearing
  • The order made as a result of the appeal
  • Costs
  • Judicial review
  • Referring a point of law to the court—the Pensions Ombudsman’s power

For a list of key Pensions Ombudsman determinations we have reported on, see Practice Note: Pensions Ombudsman determination tracker.

The appeal process in summary

The starting point is that a determination by the Pensions Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) of a complaint or dispute and any consequential direction given in relation to a scheme is final and binding on:

  1. the person by whom, or on whose behalf, the complaint or reference to the Ombudsman was made

  2. any person (if different) responsible for the management of the scheme to which the complaint or reference relates, and

  3. any person claiming under those persons

This, however, is expressly subject to the statutory right of appeal contained in section 151(4) of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (PSA 1993), as to which:

  1. an appeal may be brought against a determination and/or consequential directions that are final and binding (see further below)

  2. an appeal can only be brought by a person on whom the determination or direction is final and binding (as listed above), although any person may apply (promptly) for permission to file evidence or make representations at the appeal hearing (such as for instance the Ombudsman himself, as to which see below)

  3. an appeal from the Ombudsman lies with the High Court, and is assigned to the Chancery Division

  4. the appeal procedure is governed by CPR 52