Pensions Ombudsman releases consultation on dispute resolution

Written by Jack Gray

The Pensions Ombudsman has released a consultation on making a new provision for dispute resolution, in particular “a function for early resolution of disputes before a determination”.

It also wants to consult on how best to allow an employer to make a complaint or refer a dispute to the Ombudsman on behalf of itself and make changes in relation to associated signposting provisions.

It hopes that the results of consultation will help improve customer service and experience, enable the Ombudsman to centralise decision making and to ensure cost effectiveness.

In its announcement, the Ombudsman detailed that the consultation will help establish how new measures should be legislated for.

These measures include an early resolution service, allowing the Ombudsman to “mediate and resolve” complaints and disputes, and permitting it to “make such directions or any awards as he thinks fit at the end of any new process”.

Additionally, it’s seeking consultation on how to legislate allowing the Ombudsman to close cases at the of the new process where agreement has been reached by all parties and giving it the power to accept a complaint or dispute before a workplace scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure has begun.

The consultation closes on 18 January 2019 and is aimed mainly at people dealing with pension schemes in Britain, although the government “welcomes views from any interested parties”.

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