Pensions  

How to help clients repay when the clawback request comes

This article is part of
How to make sense of GMP clawback

Weight of the regulator

Ms Paddon has already outlined the pension ombudsman's involvement in some cases where individuals contracted out and are left facing clawback despite having transferred out of the scheme. 

But even in less complicated circumstances, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has already set out its own thinking on how schemes should go about asking for money back from pensioners. 

Ms Ingram states: "TPR requires schemes to give members a reasonable time to pay back any overpayment, or to agree an extended period of adjustment."

This would be particularly beneficial where an immediate clawback would cause hardship to the individual. 

Therefore any schemes which seem to be overly demanding can be taken to task with the pensions ombudsman. Ms Ingram says if the member has not received a satisfactory resolution or proposal of a resolution from the scheme administrators, it is worth pursuing the matter further.

She adds: "If not happy with the response, the decision should be referred to the scheme's dispute resolution process. If still not satisfied, members may complain to the pensions ombudsman and have three years to file a complaint.

"The ombudsman has power to make a binding direction to the scheme."

This is especially where the expertise of a financial adviser comes into play, as an IFA can help the pensioner to ask all the right questions and frame the complaint to the scheme and the pensions ombudsman, as well as explain the complicated calculations between the pension provider and the state and check whether these were correct.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com