TPO upholds complaint against Aten Global

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a complaint against Aten Global Ltd and ordered it to pay compensation for “serious distress and inconvenience” and reimburse missing pension contributions.

The complainant, Mrs G, alleged that Aten Global failed to pay contributions into her pension scheme managed by Scottish Widows, despite deducting contributions from her pay.

According to the complaint, the missing contributions amounted to £1,242.07, comprising £659.76 in employee contributions and £582.31 in employer contributions.

The adjudicator decided in favour of Mrs G after two letters attempting to gain information from Aten Global failed to receive a response, stating that Mrs G had suffered "significant distress and inconvenience due to the employer’s maladministration".

After Aten Global did not respond to the adjudicator’s opinion the complaint was passed to the ombudsman, who agreed with the decision, except on the level of award for maladministration.

The ombudsman directed that, within 28 days of the date of the determination, Aten Global will pay Mrs G £1,000 for the “serious distress and inconvenience” that she has experienced, up from the £500 initially proposed by the adjudicator.

Aten Global was also ordered to produce a schedule showing employee contributions deducted from Mrs G’s pay during the period of her employment, including the corresponding employer contributions that were due to the scheme, and forward the schedule to Mrs G.

The direction added that, within 28 days of receiving a request by Mrs G, Aten Global should provide her with any reasonable additional information, in order for her to be able to check the details in the schedule.

Within 14 days of receiving confirmation that Mrs G agrees with the information on the schedule, Aten Global will pay the missing contributions to Scottish Widows and establish whether the late payment of contributions has meant that fewer units were purchased in Mrs G’s scheme account than she would have otherwise secured.

Aten Global will also be required to pay any reasonable fee should Scottish Widows charge a few for carrying out the calculation, and the cost of purchasing any additional units required to make up the shortfall, within 21 days of receiving confirmation of any shortfall.

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