TPAS tends to focus on complaints before the pension scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) has been completed, while the Pensions Ombudsman typically deals with complaints that have been through IDRP.
The move will see the TPAS dispute resolution team and volunteer network of over 350 advisers transfer to the ombudsman by 1 April 2018
Smoother customer journey
The transfer is intended to simplify the customer journey.
Customers will be able to access all pension dispute resolution, whether pre- or post-IDRP, in one place. The intention is to create a smoother journey and improved complaint handling for customers.
TPAS will continue to focus on providing pension information and guidance and will become part of the new Single Financial Guidance Body.
The UK Government plans to replace the Money Advice Service, TPAS and Pension Wise guidance with a single body that will provide and commission pensions guidance, money guidance and debt advice.
Give savers confidence
Anthony Arter, the Pensions Ombudsman, said: “We have been working with TPAS to create one centre for the resolution of pension disputes helping to ensure a simpler and quicker customer journey.
“I am delighted to welcome the dispute resolution team and its network of volunteers to the Pensions Ombudsman. We have worked with the team for many years and recognise the excellent customer service which they deliver.”
Michelle Cracknell, chief executive at TPAS, said: “It is imperative that customers get the help that they need with their pensions and it is easy for them to find it. We have been working with [the Pensions Ombudsman] to ensure that customers find the right place to get the help that they need and for both organisations to move customers seamlessly between the services to ensure that the customer gets the right help.”
Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, added: “Confidence in private pensions is key to delivering our commitment of greater financial security for everyone in retirement. Whilst the planned Single Financial Guidance Body will ensure that financial guidance is open to everyone, at the same time it is essential that savers are clear on who to speak to if they have any complaints over their pension schemes.
“The decision to transfer disputes resolution work to the Pensions Ombudsman will both simplify how these complaints are handled, but should also give savers the confidence that their disputes will be resolved as quickly as possible.”