TPO partly upholds complaint against Capita

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has partly upheld a complaint against Capita Employee Solutions in a case involving the Imperial Home Décor Pension Plan.

In its determination, TPO ruled that Capita had been slow to provide relevant information and documents to the complainant, identified by TPO as Mr N.

However, TPO ruled that it wouldn’t uphold the main part of the complaint, which alleged that Capita may have incorrectly omitted part of the defined contribution (DC) benefit of his former occupational pension and, as a result, Mr N was concerned that the annuity he is currently receiving from Prudential is lower than it should be.

TPO commented: “I consider that Capita’s correspondence with Mr N about the classification of his benefits fell below the standards of good administration.

“It is clear he has been confused and unhappy about his total scheme benefits for some time and has been asking for Capita’s help with this but has not received responses in a timely manner.”

The determination also said that Capita had provided various comments and documents in relation to Mr N’s scheme benefits, which had been sent to Mr N for comment, but these documents were not provided to Mr N until he referred his complaint to TPO.

TPO added: “Even if Capita did not think Mr N’s complaint against it had any merit, it ought to have responded to his concerns, in particular any concerns raised under its formal procedures.

“Capita also ought to have informed him of his right to refer his complaint to TPO. Had it done so, Mr N’s concerns could potentially have been allayed, and his complaint resolved, much sooner.”

The determination directed that Capita should, within 28 days of the date of the determination, pay Mr N £500 to recognise the distress and inconvenience its delays have caused him.

To resolve his complaint, Mr N requested that Capita provide a full record of his contributions to the scheme and full details of the calculations it carried out when securing his DC benefits by means of an annuity with Prudential.

TPO ruled that this part of the complaint was not upheld as there was insufficient evidence that Capita mis-recorded or omitted part of Mr N’s DC benefits in the scheme.

TPO also concluded that the main part of the complaint could not be upheld as there was insufficient evidence that it mis-calculated Mr N’s DC entitlement when it secured the benefit for him by means of a Prudential annuity after the scheme wound up.

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