Pension disputes—beginners’ guide
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Pension disputes—beginners’ guide

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pension disputes—beginners’ guide
  • Disputes relating to occupational pension schemes
  • Internal dispute resolution procedure
  • Disputes relating to personal pension schemes
  • Disputes relating to the State Pension
  • Bringing a claim before the court
  • The Pensions Ombudsman
  • Financial Ombudsman Service
  • The Pensions Regulator
  • The Financial Conduct Authority

This guide is primarily aimed at trainees, newly qualified lawyers and other persons who are new to or unfamiliar with pensions law.

Disputes in relation to pension schemes can take various forms, and depending on the type of scheme in question and the nature of the dispute, there are various means by which disputes can be pursued.

Disputes relating to occupational pension schemes

An employee (or former employee) with a complaint relating to their pension rights under a trust-based occupational pension scheme acquired during the course of employment may (depending on the particular facts of their claim) have two principal avenues through which they can pursue their claim:

  1. make a written complaint against their employer—this is possible if the pension claim in question can be shown to relate to contractual rights under their contract of employment (a contractual claim), or

  2. make a written complaint against the scheme trustees (and potentially again, the employer) if the claim can be shown to arise under rights the individual has under the trusts of the relevant pension scheme (eg a potential breach of trust claim)

Internal dispute resolution procedure

Complaints against the scheme trustees will usually initially be dealt with by the trustees implementing the scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) where such a procedure exists.

IDRPs are governed primarily by:

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

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