Mr N (PO-25899): Historic transfer-in disregarded on subsequent member transfer The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman (the Deputy Ombudsman) has ruled that the failure to account for a previous transfer when calculating a member’s cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) was maladministration.
Mr N was employed by Clydesdale bank from 1975 to 1986, and had a deferred pension with the Yorkshire & Clydesdale Bank Final Salary Scheme (the Clydesdale Scheme). The Clydesdale Scheme was a contracted-out final salary scheme and therefore was required to provide its members with a guaranteed minimum pension (GMP). Mr N was subsequently employed by Bradford & Bingley, and later HSBC, where he was a member of those firms’ pension schemes (the Bradford & Bingley Scheme and the HSBC Scheme). In April 2017 Mr N contacted Capita, the administrators of the Clydesdale Scheme, in relation to his deferred pension. Capita initially informed Mr N that they had no record of his membership in the Clydesdale Scheme, and that Mr N’s data had been deleted in accordance with data protection laws. Capita was carrying out a GMP reconciliation exercise for the Clydesdale Scheme at the time of Mr N’s enquiry. After accessing the scheme’s GMP records held by HMRC using the online GMP Checker, Capita informed Mr N that the Clydesdale Scheme did not hold any GMP liability in respect of his membership, and that he had most likely therefore transferred all his pension rights to another scheme, likely to be the Bradford & Bingley Scheme. Mr N unsuccessfully raised a complaint with the Clydesdale Scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure, and subsequently complained to the Ombudsman in relation to the Clydesdale Scheme and the Bradford & Bingley Scheme. Decision The Deputy Ombudsman upheld Mr N’s complaint against the Bradford & Bingley Scheme. During the Deputy Ombudsman’s investigation of Mr N’s complaint, HMRC confirmed that Mr N’s GMP liability had in fact been transferred to the Bradford & Bingley Scheme in 1986, and subsequently to the HSBC Scheme. An Adjudicator reviewed Mr N’s complaint and found that it was more likely than not that Mr N’s deferred pension rights were transferred to the Bradford & Bingley Scheme. The Adjudicator found that the trustees of the Bradford & Bingley Scheme had failed to consider these benefits when calculating Mr N’s CETV paid to the HSBC Scheme. This constituted maladministration. The Deputy Ombudsman agreed with the Adjudicator, and directed that the trustees of the Bradford & Bingley Scheme should recalculate Mr N’s deferr
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