The Pensions Ombudsman—beginners’ guide
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
The Pensions Ombudsman—beginners’ guide

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

  • The Pensions Ombudsman—beginners’ guide
  • What is the role of the Pensions Ombudsman?
  • Who can bring a complaint before the Pensions Ombudsman and how is it done?
  • What complaints cannot be investigated by the Pensions Ombudsman?
  • Powers of redress of the Pensions Ombudsman
  • Enforcement and appeals

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


This beginners’ guide looks at the jurisdiction of the Pensions Ombudsman to deal with occupational and personal pension-related complaints and disputes, including:

  1. the role of the Ombudsman

  2. who can bring a complaint before the Ombudsman and how it is done

  3. the types of complaints/disputes that cannot be determined

  4. the Ombudsman’s powers of redress, and

  5. how to appeal decisions made by the Ombudsman

What is the role of the Pensions Ombudsman?

The Pensions Ombudsman is responsible for investigating and determining:

  1. specified authorised complaints about injustice in consequence of maladministration by trustees, managers and employers involved in occupational and personal pension schemes

  2. disputes of fact or law between specified authorised complainants and trustees, managers and employees involved with occupational and personal pension schemes, and

  3. any question about carrying out trustee duties when it is referred to him by a trustee who is a sole trustee of a scheme

For further information about the nature of maladministration, see Practice Note: The Pensions Ombudsman—when should he be used and what are his powers?

Furthermore, as a result of the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) transferring its dispute resolution service to the Pensions Ombudsman from 19 March