The Pensions Administration Standards Association (Pasa) has begun piloting its voluntary mediation service, which will help solve disputes between providers arising from a change of third-party administrator.
The ‘Transitions Dispute Resolution Service’ was announced last year and is offering its service to master trusts, schemes and insurers free of charge until January, when the initial trial period ends.
Thereafter it will be complimentary to members of Pasa or clients of its corporate members.
The service is run by an independent determinations board made up of Pasa expert representatives.
Kim Gubler, deputy chair at Pasa said: “Changing administrators gives rise to challenges not just for the ceding and receiving provider, but also for a scheme and its members.
“We have seen that sometimes providers and trustees can disagree on what should happen and that this can occasionally lead to a breakdown in the relationship.
“Our new dispute resolution service offers an independent view of any issues brought forward to assess whether each party has acted in line with the code.”
Pasa created an official code of conduct for all its members in 2013, which has since been reviewed and updated in line with market changes.
Pasa maintains providers have a duty to work in co-operation during a transfer of administration services and have to manage the situation in a professional manner ensuring the interests of trustees and members remain at the forefront.
Anthony Raymond, interim executive director of regulatory policy at The Pensions Regulator welcomed the launch of the service.
He said: “Good administration is the bedrock of a well run scheme. Any breakdown during the transition between administrators can have a negative impact on members.
“We are pleased to see the launch of Pasa’s transitions dispute resolution service to help ensure that members’ benefits remain protected, and the service they receive from their scheme is uninterrupted.”