skip tocontent

online technical resource

pension complaints: our jurisdiction

We can investigate a wide range of complaints relating to pensions. As a general rule, we deal with complaints about businesses providing activities that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

There is a separate organisation called the Pensions Ombudsman that also investigates pension complaints. Some pension complaints only come under our jurisdiction, and others come under the jurisdiction of the Pensions Ombudsman.

A typical example of the type of pension case we investigate is where a consumer complains about the suitability of advice to start a pension arrangement in their own name.

Where a complaint is referred to us that we consider should be investigated by the Pensions Ombudsman, we will automatically refer the case to that body. The Pensions Ombudsman does the same for complaints it receives which should be dealt with by us. We have a formal "memorandum of understanding" [opens in PDF] with the Pensions Ombudsman.

complaints about pension arrangements organised by an employer

Most complaints about Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs), Executive Pension Plans (EPPs) and Group Personal Pension Plans (GPPs) can be considered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

However, other complaints about pension arrangements organised by employers for employees should initially be referred to the Pensions Ombudsman.

complaints about the management or ongoing administration of pension arrangements

These types of complaint should initially be referred to the Pensions Ombudsman.

However, if this type of complaint is made against an independent financial adviser (IFA), the Pensions Ombudsman cannot investigate the case - and the complaint should be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service instead.

complaints relating to state pensions

Complaints about state pensions are usually dealt with by The Pension Service (part of the Department for Work and Pensions).   

help for businesses and consumer advisers

contact our technical advice desk on 020 7964 1400

This is part of our information helpline which sets out our general approach to complaints about a wide range of financial products and issues. We would like your feedback on how helpful you found it. Please also use the feedback form below to tell us about anything you think we could clarify or explain better.

image: investment
  • The law requires us to decide each case on the basis of our existing powers and what is fair in the circumstances of that particular case.
    We take into account the law, regulators' rules and guidance, relevant codes and good industry practice at the relevant time.
    We do not have power to make rules for financial businesses.
    Our current approach may develop in the light of circumstances disclosed by further cases we receive.
    We may decide that fairness requires a different approach in a particular case.