Ombudsman rules against firm over its pension scheme

Ombudsman rules against firm over its pension scheme

A man was deprived of his pension for more than two years because the managing director of the company he used to work for didn’t know it had a pension scheme.

Royston Muller took his case to the Pensions Ombudsman, which upheld his complaint and ordered County Tyre to reinstate the 95-year-old’s monthly pension of £80.77.

This would have to be backdated to November 2013 when the payments stopped, Pensions Ombudsman Anthony Arter confirmed.

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Mr Arter had been told that the managing director of County Tyre bought the company around July 2013 and did not know the company had a pension scheme. This was after Mr Arter had been told by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority that it had been wound up.

However, he said the OPRA had also confirmed that the trustees had decided to continue to fund pensions out of the employer’s own resources.

Mr Arter said: “That evidence suggests that the pensions in payment had, effectively, been secured with the employer, and the company became responsible for paying the pensions instead of the pension scheme.

“In my judgement, County Tyre has a responsibility to continue to fund Mr Muller’s pension. This is because the scheme booklet says that the scheme pension was payable for life from the date of retirement.

“So in effect, a promise was made to pay a pension, which is enforceable.”

County Tyre has also been told to pay Mr Muller £1,000 for the distress and inconvenience caused to him by its maladministration.

Mr Muller started work at County Tyre in 1985 and joined the pension scheme. He retired in 1988 and started receiving his pension.