TPO upholds complaint against JLE Havant Limited

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a complaint from a member of the Nest pension scheme against JLE Havant Limited (JLE).

The complaint from Mr S, alleged that since he began employment with JLE, the company had failed to pay the correct contribution amounts into his Nest scheme.

It was further alleged that JLE failed to pay contributions into Nest for the period from April to September 2019 and that Mr S had suffered serious distress and inconvenience while attempting to resolve his complaint.

In January 2020, JLE confirmed that a total of £591.34 in employee and employer contributions remained outstanding and said that a schedule had been arranged to make these missing payments. However, Nest has claimed it did not have a repayment plan in place with JLE.

In its decision the ombudsman noted, during the period from April 2019 to October 2019, JLE deducted contributions from Mr S’ pay but these contributions, together with the corresponding employer contributions, were not remitted to Mr S’ Nest account in a timely manner.

The ombudsman also said that it was three years later before JLE made any attempt to remit the contributions, which represented a “completely unacceptable delay and amounts to maladministration”.

It was ultimately decided that Mr S was owed the money and the wait was unreasonable, therefore Mr S’ complaint was upheld.

As a result of the ruling, JLE has been directed within 28 days of the determination to produce a schedule showing the employee contributions deducted from Mr S’ salary for each month of his employment and forward the schedule to Mr S for him to agree.

It was also determined that JLE shall pay Mr S £1,000 for the serious distress and inconvenience the company has caused him.

TPO also determined that, within 28 days of JLE receiving confirmation that Mr S agrees with the information on the schedule, JLE shall compare the schedule with the schedule provided by Nest contributions remitted to it and pay any missing employer and employee contributions to Nest.

Additionally, it was ruled that JLE shall establish with Nest whether the late payment of contributions has meant fewer units were purchased in Mr S’ Nest account than would have been bought if the contributions had been paid on time and, if so, that JLE shall meet the cost of the shortfall within 21 days.

JLE was also ruled to pay any reasonable administration fee should Nest charge a fee for carrying out the calculation.

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