How to make a Complaint


THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS PLAN OF

THE QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST

INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES


INTRODUCTION

Under the Pensions Act 1995, Trustees of occupational pension schemes have to adopt internal dispute resolution procedures (IDR procedures).   The procedures adopted by the Trustees of the Retirement Benefits Plan are as follows.

Complainants

  • ­ IDR procedures will cover any “disagreement” between the Trustees and people in the following categories:

    • scheme members;
    • widows, widowers and dependants of members who have died;
    • prospective members;
    • anyone who has been a member or prospective member within the last six months; and
    • anyone claiming to be in any of these categories.

Bringing a complaint

  • ­A complainant who wants a disagreement resolved under the IDR procedures will have to make a written application to the Trustees.
  • ­The application must provide details of the complainant, and must state the nature of the disagreement.
  • A complainant may arrange for a representative (for example, a solicitor or trade union official) to act on his behalf.

The first stage decision

  • ­Under the IDR procedures the Trustees authorise the Secretary to decide on any complaints.
  • The Secretary must issue a written decision which:

    • refers to any relevant legislation or scheme rules; and
    • explains about the complainant’s right to have the matter reconsidered.
  • ­The Secretary must issue the decision within two months of when the Trustees receive the complainant’s application.  If this is not possible, the complainant must be told why there is a delay, and when a decision can be expected.

  Referring the matter back to the Trustees

  • If the complainant is unhappy with the first stage decision, he must be given the right to ask the Trustees to reconsider the matter.
  • To get the Trustees to reconsider, the complainant must make a written application to the Trustees within six months of the first stage decision being issued.
  • The application must provide details of the complainant, must enclose a copy of the first stage decision, and must explain why the complainant is dissatisfied with it.

The second stage - reconsideration by the Trustees

  • The Trustees must reconsider the complaint and issue a written decision which:

    • refers to any relevant legislation or scheme rules;
    • explains whether the Trustees are upholding or overruling the first-stage decision; and
    • tells the complainant about the Occupational Pensions Advisory Service and the Pensions Ombudsman.

  • The Trustees must issue the decision within two months of when they receive the complainant’s application.  If this is not possible, the complainant must be told why there is a delay, and when a decision can be expected.

OPAS

The Occupational Pensions Advisory Service (OPAS) is available to assist members at any stage of the dispute procedure.  OPAS may be contacted at the following address:-

11 Belgrave Road

LONDON

SW1V 1RB