Disputes regarding pensions are often very complex and technical, and seeking legal representation is therefore highly recommended.
Trustees and managers of pension schemes are legally required to provide an internal dispute resolution procedure as a point of first contact for members of a pension scheme. It may be that the complaint then is transferred to the Pensions Ombudsman, an independent organisation established to investigate complaints regarding the administration of pension schemes.
We can help you navigate these dispute resolution procedures, and if you believe you have a claim in law, as opposed to “pure maladministration” (this includes rudeness, delay or incompetence) we can also represent your interests.
What are some common pension disputes?
- Disputes regarding the administration of both public and private sector public pension schemes, such as the Civil Service Pension scheme, Police Pension Schemes and NHS Pension Schemes.
- Disputes and disagreements concerning the construction of pension scheme rules.
- Pension disputes regarding underpayments and overpayments of pension benefits.
- Discriminatory rules in pension schemes, and challenging certain pension provisions or amendments.
- Negligent advice on behalf of pension scheme administrators and failures to advise employees and pension scheme members about pensions rights and benefits.
- Failure to advise employees and pension scheme members about changes in pension scheme rules.
- Claims for professional negligence.
What we can do
We will work with you to understand the key issues in your claim. This will involve a rigorous analysis of the facts, your circumstances and a detailed explanation of the law and procedure.
If your claim does proceed to court, the nature of the dispute will determine how it is managed through the court. We will advise accordingly.
Most disputes are classed as non–hostile and involve the trustees of the pension scheme seeking direction on how the scheme should be administered. This can involve the trustees asking the court for directions on:
- How the pension scheme rules should be interpreted under legislation, and what a particular scheme rule means, and how it should be conducted.
- Powers of trustees to take certain steps in the administration of the pension scheme.
Hostile litigation involves disputes of fact, and may involve an issue of professional negligence, or a claim against the trustees of the scheme.
As well as advising you on a particular dispute resolution issues, we can utilise the full expertise and experience of our firm to provide a holistic service, be these issues of employment or finance law. We can also refer you to other professional organisations within our wide-ranging network if appropriate, to make sure you have the best advice possible and that your position is protected.