slide1 l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Women and Pensions The Impact of Ms. Murphy’s Law Paul Kenny Pensions Ombudsman IWLA Conference, July 2009 PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Women and Pensions The Impact of Ms. Murphy’s Law Paul Kenny Pensions Ombudsman IWLA Conference, July 2009

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 24

Women and Pensions The Impact of Ms. Murphy’s Law Paul Kenny Pensions Ombudsman IWLA Conference, July 2009 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Women and Pensions The Impact of Ms. Murphy’s Law Paul Kenny Pensions Ombudsman IWLA Conference, July 2009. What the Pensions Ombudsman Does. Investigate complaints & disputes concerning Occupational pension schemes Personal Retirement Savings Accounts Trust RACs

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Women and Pensions The Impact of Ms. Murphy’s Law Paul Kenny Pensions Ombudsman IWLA Conference, July 2009' - lapis

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Women and PensionsThe Impact of Ms. Murphy’s LawPaul KennyPensions OmbudsmanIWLA Conference, July 2009

what the pensions ombudsman does
What the Pensions Ombudsman Does
  • Investigate complaints & disputes concerning
    • Occupational pension schemes
    • Personal Retirement Savings Accounts
    • Trust RACs

Completely independent office/impartial adjudicator

  • Can give financial redress
    • to individuals where they have lost through maladministration of a pension scheme or PRSA
  • Can decide questions of fact or law
  • To require production of information, documents, etc (if not legally privileged)
  • To examine witnesses, administer oaths
  • To apply for Circuit Court Order to compel
  • To State a case to the High Court
  • Lookback depends on when the event happened:
    • If before 28 April, 2003 to a date not more than 6 years before the 2002 Act
      • In effect, 13 April 1996
    • If after 28 April 2003, either
      • Six years from the event; or
      • Three years from the date on which complainant knew, or ought to have known….
who can complain
Who can Complain?
  • an actual or potential beneficiary
    • a member or a former member of a scheme
    • a surviving dependant of a member who has died
    • a person claiming to be a member or a surviving dependant
    • a contributor to a PRSA or Trust RAC
    • a personal representative of a member or contributor
    • a widow or widower of a member or contributorwho has died- A complaint may be made through a representative
against whom
Against Whom?
  • Former / trustee
  • Former / employer
  • Former / PRSA provider
  • Other category to be prescribed- regs.
  • Regulations: “Administrator” includes persons
      • Providing administration service
      • To whom S.59 duties delegated
      • Interpreting or applying scheme rules
      • To whom PRSA provider has delegated
  • Regulations not amended for “registered Administrator” (2009) – not required
what can they complain about
What can they complain about?
  • Maladministration (which can be hard to define) in relation to a pension scheme, PRSA. Etc
  • Financial Loss as a result


    • Compliance with the Pensions Act (BOARD)
    • Equal Treatment (Equality Tribunal)
    • Most self-employed pensions and Disability Plans (FSO)
internal disputes resolution
Internal Disputes Resolution
  • Complaint in writing to “Relevant Person”
      • trustees (OPS/Trust RAC)
      • Minister (Public Authority)
      • Provider (PRSA)
  • Determination in writing
      • Conditions to be met
  • Trustees can decide structure of IDR procedure appropriate to scheme
  • IDR result not binding
exceptions and waiver
Exceptions and Waiver
  • IDR not required if
    • Scheme in Winding –up
    • Complaint already heard by Pensions Board
    • PO decides investigation appropriate AND IDR not appropriate
  • Process can be “exhausted within its terms” after the expiry of the 3-month deadline or such later date as PO decides
  • Preliminary Examination
  • Lots of complaints outside Terms of Reference
  • Referrals to the Ombudsman, Financial Services Ombudsman, Pensions Board, DSFA Pensions, etc
  • Decision on whether to go for full investigation
mediation the preferred option
Mediation – the Preferred Option
  • Mediation is faster than full investigation/ determination
  • Determination invariably means someone is unhappy
  • Many cases are closed by explanation
  • Better communication would avert some of these
investigation completed
Investigation Completed
  • May give “Preliminary View”
  • Indicate likely conclusions
  • Invite all parties to comment – deadline
  • This may alter the course of the investigation
  • Final Determination
    • binding on all parties, subject to appeal to the High Court within 21 days
enforcement appeals and criminal prosecution
Enforcement, appeals and CriminalProsecution
  • One appeal dismissed in 2007
  • Two appeals ongoing….
  • One appeal “settled” - oddly
  • Prosecutions for obstruction of Investigations
  • Enforcement of orders to furnish information
  • Enforcement of Determinations
    • complainant or Minister
women and complaints
Women and Complaints
  • Only about 25% of complainants are women
  • Possibly because under-represented in pension schemes generally
  • -or because benefits not yet mature
women and complaints 2
Women and Complaints - 2
  • Many complaints by women result from previous discrimination:
    • Late entry to schemes
    • Exclusion on marriage in Public Sector
    • Exclusion of part-timers, seasonal workers, fixed-term contract and temporary staff
  • Employment and Pensions Legislation now requires equal or pro-rata treatment
    • Delays in implementation
    • Maladministration
  • Calculation and notification of cost of buy-back
  • Failure to deal properly with spouses’/children’s liability
  • Failure to deal properly with purchase of added years
  • Delays in payment /administration of benefits
  • “Abatement” of pension on return to employment
dependants benefits
Dependants’ Benefits
  • Mortality Benefits not available in CWPS owing to non-remittance of contributions
  • Impact of discretionary decisions
    • “wishes” letters
  • Pension Adjustment Orders – defects
    • not just in contingent benefits
    • Orders may not cover all benefits in public service
    • Interpretation –Relevant benefit in payment
other problems
Other Problems
  • Discrimination in Social Welfare system
    • Part-timers who contributed to a pension scheme may get a lower unemployment benefit!
    • Because P60 earnings net of contribution
    • Not intentional, result of drafting of regulations
  • Non-Irish nationals and opt-out -can hit dependants
  • Treatment of “new entrants” to public service
not all complaints are serious to start with
Not all complaints are serious- to start with
  • Some should never get to my office, but escalate due to
    • Poor communication – both ways
    • Lack of knowledge
    • Failure to take complaint seriously
  • Example – woman regarded as on “contract for services” – not employee
    • Help from SCOPE Section
    • Decision as a matter of fact
    • Pension awarded
complaint handling
Complaint Handling
  • How complaints are handled initially will dictate where and how they finish up
  • It’s important that the complainant feels s/he is being taken seriously
  • Failure to reply is disastrous
what happens when a person complains
What Happens when a person Complains?
  • Does the Complaint Handler….
    • Lend a sympathetic ear?
    • Attack the complainant?
    • Call in the PI Insurer?
    • Actually look for the facts?
    • Agree that s/he has a case?
    • Apologise?
    • Refer the complainant to IDR?
the role of the apology
The Role of the Apology
  • Remember that sometimes an apology is enough
  • Complainants need to feel they are being listened to
  • Failure of the scheme /administrator /trustee to reply will escalate the problem
  • People who feel they are not taken seriously feel aggrieved
    • And complain to an Ombudsman
    • Or sue
  • Are slow to complain
  • Are tenacious when they do
  • Are slow to accept what they don’t understand
  • Are accepting of a reasoned explanation
office of the pensions ombudsman
Office of the Pensions Ombudsman
  • 36 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2
  • Telephone: 01 647 1650
  • Fax: 01 676 9577
  • Web;
  • E-mail: