Internal dispute resolution procedure—what is involved?

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Internal dispute resolution procedure—what is involved?
  • Scope of IDRP
  • Exemptions from the IDRP requirements
  • Exempt schemes
  • Exempt disputes
  • Establishing an IDRP—one or two stages?
  • One-stage IDRP
  • Two-stage IDRP
  • Contents of IDRP
  • Informing members of the IDRP process
  • More...

Internal dispute resolution procedure—what is involved?


The legal framework for an occupational pension scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) is set out in:

  1. sections 50, 50A and 50B of the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 1995), and

  2. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008, SI 2008/649

The Pensions Regulator has also issued a Code of Practice on dispute resolution.

Scope of IDRP

Pension scheme trustees have a duty to establish, run and manage a scheme’s IDRP. The IDRP enables scheme members, or those with an interest in the scheme, to challenge decisions, acts or omissions relating to their scheme benefits or the pension scheme.

Individuals considered to have an interest in the pension scheme include those who have ceased, or claim to have ceased, to be a member or beneficiary of the scheme, or a prospective scheme member. This includes widows, widowers and surviving dependants.

Complaints relating to the employer are outside the scope of the IDRP process.

Scheme members and those with an interest in the scheme can only make a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman under the Pensions Ombudsman’s normal adjudication service after they have completed the scheme’s IDRP. However, as the Pensions Ombudsman now offers an early resolution service in addition to its normal adjudication service (as a result of the transfer

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