The Pensions Ombudsman adjudicator believed that the employer’s error in providing an incorrect date of birth and NI number “constituted maladministration on the part of Panisade Ltd and was the root cause of the unfortunate position Mr S now found himself in”.
The adjudicator thought that the member welcome pack and HMRC letter made it “sufficiently clear” that it was Panisade that had enrolled Mr S into Nest. “It was unfortunate that Mr S continued to believe that Bleep 360 Ltd had enrolled him,” it said.
Nest admitted holding incorrect information for Mr S “infringed the data protection regulations”. Yet the adjudicator said these matters “did not fall within the jurisdiction of the PO and was a matter for the Information Commissioner”.
The adjudicator found that the distress caused “did not merit the PO’s minimum award of £500”, but added that Panisade should “refund Mr S the contributions which it deducted from his salary, with interest”.
Mr S found this to be inadequate, and took it to the Pensions Ombudsman. The ombudsman agreed that while it was “unfortunate circumstances”, these were “chiefly caused by the failure of Panisade Ltd”.
The ombudsman agreed with the adjudicator and concluded that Panisade should refund the contributions it deducted from Mr S’s salary. It said the contributions, of “approximately £200”, should be paid with interest calculated using the base rate for the time being quoted by the Bank of England.
Calum Kapoor is an intern at Pensions Expert, FTAdviser's sister publication