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ombudsman news

issue 2

February 2001

changes to the PIA Ombudsman Bureau's terms of reference

With effect from 14 November 2000, complaints about matters that have been properly dealt with under the terms of the Pensions Review are beyond the scope of the PIA Ombudsman except in limited circumstances.

The following paragraph was added to the PIA Ombudsman Bureau's terms of reference to bring about this position:

"5.2A If, in respect of a complaint relating to a pension transaction, the Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm in question has reviewed the transaction in accordance with the PIA's standards for the review of such transactions (including, if appropriate, making an offer of redress to the complainant) then he shall make no award or recommendation unless he is of the opinion that the particular circumstances of the case are not addressed by the standards."

This applies equally cases to which are subject to the Review of FSAVCs (Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions).

other amendments

The ombudsmen no longer require the leave of either the Council or Board to reopen a case where either the complainant or the firm presents new evidence after an ombudsman has reached a final decision. If no new evidence is presented, then the ombudsman's decision is final.

The new paragraph 6.1(c)(i) now says,

"6.1 The Ombudsman shall have no power to investigate a complaint unless he is satisfied that . . .

(c) (i) the complaint contains no subject matter any part of which was comprised in any previous complaint made to any Ombudsman (provided that the Ombudsman may consider a complaint if he is satisfied that new evidence is available in relation to the complaint which was not available at the time the previous complaint was considered);

The PIA Ombudsman Bureau's Board has also made a number of minor amendments to the terms of reference to deal with the replacement of the Council by the Board, so that former references to Council now read as references to the Board."

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.