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Complaints to Pensions Ombudsman remain stable

The Pensions Ombudsman says it received 742 new cases needing investigation during the year to March 31, 2009, which shows no significant increase on previous years.

According to the Annual Report and Accounts, published today, the economic downturn and its impact on pension funds is “unlikely to have more than a delayed and indirect effect on complaint numbers”.

Pensions Ombudsman Tony King says the number of unresolved cases at the end of the year was 476, compared to 1,413 three years prior. The number of unresolved cases over a year old fell from 450 at the start of the year to 46 at the end.

While 1,196 cases were closed, only 30 per cent needed a formal determination by King or the deputy pensions ombudsman Charlie Gordon, down from 39 per cent the previous year.

The report shows that pension transfers and ill-health pensions were the most common causes for complaints.

King says: “Without doubt the year under report has been a good year. We have effectively disposed of the office’s long-standing backlog and have substantially met our other targets for the year.

“What matters to us is that we play our proper part in ensuring that redress is available where it is justified and providing finality where it is not. I am delighted that we have been able to do that so effectively this year.”

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