Limitation periods in pension claims
Produced in partnership with Victoria Brown of Outer Temple Chambers
Limitation periods in pension claims

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Victoria Brown of Outer Temple Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Limitation periods in pension claims
  • What are limitation periods?
  • Relevant limitation periods for typical pension claims
  • Limitation—procedural issues
  • How claimants can protect themselves
  • Limitation periods applicable in a scheme’s internal dispute resolution
  • Limitation periods for claims before the Pensions Ombudsman
  • For further information, see:

What are limitation periods?

Broadly, a limitation period specifies a time limit within which:

  1. legal proceedings of a particular kind must be brought, or

  2. notice of a claim or dispute must be given to another party

Limitations of actions are essentially a matter of statute. The principal enactment is the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980).

Legal proceedings are brought for these purposes when a claimant’s request for issue of a claim form (with the requisite fee) is delivered to the court office.

Three basic issues arise when considering limitation periods:

  1. when does time start to run?

  2. how long is the limitation period?

  3. what happens when time expires?

The first two questions depend on which cause of action is being brought—for further information, see Relevant limitation periods for typical pension claims below.

As to the third question, the general rule is that if the time period has expired, no action may be brought in respect of the claim. Limitation is a complete defence, but it is for the defendant to plead.

Relevant limitation periods for typical pension claims

Claims founded on a tort

This subsection covers claims for economic loss based on the negligence of advisers, eg solicitors, accountants, actuaries and/or valuers.

The general limitation period is six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued. This