TPO upholds complaint against Integral Law

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a complaint against Integral Law Ltd and directed that it should pay missing pension contributions and compensation for “serious distress and inconvenience”.

The complainant, identified in the determination as Mr L, alleged that Integral Law had failed to pay contributions into the Smart Pension Master Trust despite deducting contributions from his pay.

Mr L said that the missing contributions amounted to £2,388.38.

Mr L submitted an application to TPO in August of 2021 and provided copies of the payslips that he held for the period from May 2019 to October 2020, which detailed the pension contributions deducted from his pay and the corresponding employer contributions, which amounted to £2,388.38.

In May 2022, TPO wrote to the Integral Law to ask for more information in response to Mr L’s complaint and repeated this request in June 2022 but neither received a response.

As a result, the adjudicator had to base his opinion solely on the information provided by Mr L and, since the adjudicator stated he had “no reason to doubt the information” provided by Mr L, upheld the complaint.

After Integral Law did not respond to the adjudicator’s opinion the complaint was passed to the ombudsman who agreed with the opinion except on “the level of award for maladministration”.

The ombudsman directed that, within 28 days of the determination, Integral Law will pay Mr L £1,000 for distress and inconvenience and produce a schedule showing the employee contributions deducted from Mr L’s pay which will be forwarded to Mr L.

The ombudsman further directed that Integral Law shall, within 14 days of receiving a request by Mr L, provide him with any reasonable additional information, in order for him to be able to check the details in the schedule.

The ombudsman also directed that, within 14 days of receiving confirmation from Mr L that he agrees with the schedule, Integral Law will pay the missing contributions to the trust, establish with Smart Pension whether the late payment of contributions has meant fewer units were purchased in Mr L’s account, and pay any reasonable administration fee for the above calculation.

Integral Law was also directed to, within 14 days of receiving confirmation from Smart Pension of any shortfall in Mr L’s units, pay the cost of purchasing any additional units to make up the shortfall.

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