Dealing with pension problems and making a complaint

Money Advice Service

If there’s a problem with your pension, there are organisations that can help. This guide tells you who you can complain to and what you can expect.

Your State Pension

In most cases, your first point of contact if you have a complaint related to your State Pension is The Pension Service (0345 606 0265), which will respond to your complaint within seven days.

However, if your complaint relates to your National Insurance contributions record, you should contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

You’ll find details of HMRC’s complaints procedures on its website.

If you subsequently wish to take your complaint further, you can do so through the relevant tribunal:

Defined contribution pensions

The correct organisation to contact with your complaint depends on the nature of the problem – see below.

Complaints about the way your pension scheme is being run

In the first instance you should contact the company through which you joined the pension scheme.

This might be the pension provider itself, or it could be a professional financial adviser.

If you’re unable to resolve the problem in this way, your next step is to contact the Pensions Ombudsman by phoning 020 7630 2200.

It offers a free service aimed at settling disputes of this kind.

Complaints about the selling and marketing of pensions

If you think you were wrongly advised when you bought your pension, or, for example, you were given information that’s turned out to be incorrect, you should complain to the company you bought the pension from (the provider or financial adviser).

If you are not happy with the way they deal with your complaint, you should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9 123.

A typical example of the kind of complaint handled by the Ombudsman would be where someone was advised to take out a personal pension when they should have joined their workplace scheme.

If your pension provider goes out of business

If your pension provider goes out of business or goes into insolvency, leaving it unable to pay you money you’re owed, you should contact the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on 0800 678 1100.

Defined benefit pensions

If your employer operates an occupational pension scheme (such a salary-related pension), then by law it must have a formal complaints procedure.

So your first step in complaining should be to ask your employer what you need to do.

  • If you can’t resolve the issue in this way, contact The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 or using the link below.
  • If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact the Pension Ombudsman on 020 7630 2200.

If your employer goes bust

If you’re a member of a defined benefit pension scheme (a final salary or other earnings-related pension) and your employer goes bust and there is not enough money in its scheme to pay your pension, you might be able to get help through an organisation called the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The amount of compensation you might get will vary according to your circumstances:

  • If you have retired and are beyond the scheme’s normal retirement age and are already drawing your pension then the PPF will normally continue to pay you the same pension as you’re already getting.
  • If you retired early and are already taking your pension you will receive 90% of your pension payment amount subject to an annual cap. The cap amount depends on your age and the date the company went bust – the earlier you retired the lower the cap. You can check current cap rates on the PPF website.
  • If you haven’t started taking your pension, once you reach your scheme’s normal retirement age, the PPF provides 90% of the income you would have received through your pension, using a cap as described above.

In all cases, your pension will increase in line with inflation for contributions made from 5 April 1997 – currently subject to a 2.5% maximum.

Any element of your pension based on contributions made before this date will stay the same.

If you have a complaint about a financial adviser

If you have a complaint relating to a financial adviser, your first step should be to try to resolve it with them.

They should have procedures in place to deal with these issues.

If you are not happy with their response, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123 – they will help you resolve the problem.

If your complaint relates to money that you’ve lost due to bad advice, but your adviser has gone out of business, you should contact the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on 0800 678 1100.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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