Q&As

The wife of a deceased member has requested information regarding the deceased member's pension from the trustees of a pension scheme in order to support a medical negligence claim, but the wife is neither a current or prospective beneficiary under the scheme. In these circumstances: (i) if the scheme trustees do not disclose the information and the wife complained to the Pensions Ombudsman, would the complaint fall within the remit of the Ombudsman, and (ii) if the complaint does fall within the Pensions Ombudsman’s remit and the complaint is successful, what award could the Ombudsman make?

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Published on LexisPSL on 12/12/2018

The following Pensions Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The wife of a deceased member has requested information regarding the deceased member's pension from the trustees of a pension scheme in order to support a medical negligence claim, but the wife is neither a current or prospective beneficiary under the scheme. In these circumstances: (i) if the scheme trustees do not disclose the information and the wife complained to the Pensions Ombudsman, would the complaint fall within the remit of the Ombudsman, and (ii) if the complaint does fall within the Pensions Ombudsman’s remit and the complaint is successful, what award could the Ombudsman make?
  • If the scheme trustees do not disclose the information and the wife complained to the Pensions Ombudsman, would the complaint fall within the remit of the Ombudsman?
  • If the complaint does fall within the Pensions Ombudsman’s remit and the complaint is successful, what award could the Ombudsman make?

The wife of a deceased member has requested information regarding the deceased member's pension from the trustees of a pension scheme in order to support a medical negligence claim, but the wife is neither a current or prospective beneficiary under the scheme. In these circumstances: (i) if the scheme trustees do not disclose the information and the wife complained to the Pensions Ombudsman, would the complaint fall within the remit of the Ombudsman, and (ii) if the complaint does fall within the Pensions Ombudsman’s remit and the complaint is successful, what award could the Ombudsman make?

It is stated that the wife of the deceased member is neither a current or prospective beneficiary under the pension scheme. However, it is not specified if the occupational pension scheme was contracted-out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) or was a contracted-in scheme. For example, since 1978, all occupational pension schemes (and personal pension schemes) which contracted-out of SERPS had to provide for a survivor’s pension for a widow. In relation to defined benefit schemes, guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) accrued until 1997 when the reference scheme test was introduced. Any survivor’s benefits in excess of these minimum requirements depended on the actual provisions of the occupational pension scheme’s trust deed and rules (and any amending legislation and case law which extended spouses’ benefits to same-sex spouses,

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