The FCA has reminded firms that they can also make clients aware of The Pensions Ombudsman if they have complaints, not just the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Currently, advisers must notify clients of their right to complain to the FOS if they believe they have been mis-sold.
In updated guidance today, the FCA adds that eligible complaints can also be informed about TPO’s existence in relevant cases.
The FCA has offered a suggested wording to mirror FOS signposting, which reads: “You have the right to refer your complaint to The Pensions Ombudsman
free of charge. The Pensions Ombudsman can be contacted at [current address, current telephone number and current website address].”
The FOS deals mainly with complaints about advice, while TPO deal mainly with administration complaints.
There are areas of overlap, however: both FOS and TPO can consider complaints about the administration of personal and group personal pensions, though occupational schemes are left to TPO.
Their respective jurisdictions were clarified in a new ‘memorandum of understanding’ today.
As part of the FCA’s new guidance on signposting, it says it would only expect clients to be made aware over complaints that fall within TPO’s jurisdiction, but the FCA’s rules would warn against firms persuading or misleading consumers to go to TPO rather than the FOS when the later would be the more appropriate complaints agency.