TPO upholds complaint against Panisade

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a complaint against Panisade Ltd and ordered it to refund the contributions it deducted from the complainant’s salary.

The complainant, identified by TPO as Mr S, alleged that Panisade Ltd provided Nest with an incorrect date of birth and National Insurance number when automatically enrolling him into the scheme in November 2018 and, as a consequence of this mistake, Nest held incorrect details for him.

TPO’s decision stated that the “unfortunate circumstances” in which Mr S found himself were “chiefly” caused by the failure of Panisade to provide Nest with correct information during the enrolment process and ruled that this failure constituted maladministration on the part of the employer.

The decision went onto state that, when Mr S brought the issue to the attention of Panisade on 28 December 2018, it should have promptly notified Nest of his correct personal details and that the failure to do so “represents further maladministration”.

The ombudsman ruled that, within 28 days of the determination, Panisade Ltd should refund the contributions it deducted from Mr S’ salary and that the contributions should be paid with interest calculated using the base rate for the time being quoted by the Bank of England.

Mr S’ complaint also alleged that Nest failed to comply with his request to opt out of Nest within the one month opt out period, but the ombudsman found “there was no maladministration on the part of Nest Corporation for not allowing Mr S to opt out of Nest”.

Mr S also argued that Nest should pay him compensation for the “considerable” distress which it caused him and his family by sending them a letter on 8 October 2019 stating that he had died.

However, the ombudsman stated that Nest corporation only sent the letter after Mr S had made an online death claim and that any upset caused by this letter was regrettably a consequence of his own actions.

The ombudsman decided that any distress and inconvenience which Mr S had suffered that is not attributable to his own actions was insufficient to merit the minimum award of £500.

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