We’re sorry when things go wrong, and we’ll deal with any complaints we receive quickly and resolve the situation when possible. You must raise your complaint within six months of when you first knew of the problem unless there are special circumstances. Complaints may be made verbally or in writing, by phone, letter or e-mail. We monitor the level of complaints we receive monthly, and we’ll always learn from these and improve the service we provide.
Our complaints policy and procedure cover:
Stage 1- For issues that are straightforward or simple, requiring little or no investigation an “on-the-spot” apology or explanation will be given. Alternatively, it may be referred to the appropriate frontline response to put the matter right. We’ll make every attempt to resolve a complaint on the spot or within 5 working days. If this isn’t possible, we will tell you how to escalate your complaint.
Stage 2 – If you’re still unhappy and the response hasn’t resolved the matter, let us know the reason. A manager will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days, investigate the matter and send a written response within 20 working days of your request.
Stage 3 – If you’re still not satisfied once you have been through the complaints process, you can make a formal complaint to:
The Pensions Ombudsman, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB
Tel: 0800 917 4487.
To make a complaint, please download a complaints form.
In the first instance you should write to the Customer Experience Manager with full details of the decision you’d like reviewed. We’ll investigate the matter and send a written response within 10 days of your request or review. If the investigation will take longer, we’ll keep you informed of when you can expect a response. If you are still not satisfied, you can make an appeal through a two stage process; the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP) to an independent appointed person.
Stage 1 - You can make an appeal to an independent appointed person within six months of the date of the notification or act of omission you are complaining about.
Stage 2 – If you are still dissatisfied following the independent appointed person review you may apply to the Scottish Ministers to have the decision reconsidered within six months of the date of the notification of the stage 1 decision. The notification will include a contact address.
If after going through the dispute process, you’re still not satisfied you can make a formal complaint to the Pension’s Ombudsman, 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V Tel: 0800 917 4487.
Please note that the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is available to assist members and beneficiaries of the Schem in connection with any difficulty with the Scheme which remains unresolved. You can contact TPAS at 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB Tel 0845 6012923.
To make an appeal, please download an IDRP form.
If your complaint is about a decision made by your employer, contact your employer, who’ll investigate your complaint in line with their IDRP.
We monitor the level of complaints we receive monthly, and we’ll always learn from these and improve the service we provide. Lean methodology is used to drive ongoing efficiencies in service delivery, together with Customer Journey mapping, an approach within Customer Service Excellence (CSE) to tailor our services to meet the needs of both our customers and Lothian Pension Fund. We also undertake regular surveys of customer groups to evaluate whether we’re getting things right.
The table below shows the number of service complaints received.
|The My Pension Online system did not make it clear that if a nomination is made to a child under the age of 16 and a death grant is paid whilst the child is under age 16, in these circumstances if the death grant is over £5,000 that it will be paid to the Accountant of Court.||We reviewed and updated the wording on our website in the “Death Grant – view and change nomination” section to include working that if the death grant is over £5,000 that it will be paid to the Accountant of Court.|
|There were delays in requests for early payment of deferred benefits on health grounds.||We reviewed our process and made improvements including sending our Occupational Health Providers medical consent form to the member alongside the initial application form.|
|Our Annual Allowance Scheme Pay Election Form had different wording from HMRC’s self-assessment tax return, which sometimes caused confusion.||To try to make the form easier to understand we reviewed and updated the form to align with HMRC wording.|
|A person acted on behalf of a pensioner was unhappy because they wanted to change the pensioners address to care of themselves. They did not have the power to act on behalf of the pensioner and obtaining a Guardianship Order was costly.||We checked the Office of Public Guardian website and noted that there were other less costly options available. We updated our process and website accordingly.|
|On My Pension Online, reminder to review or update a death grant nomination is set to flag once a year. Some members were unaware that they had to hit the tab to clear the prompt.||We reviewed and amended the wording in the prompt to make it clear that a member must click both the prompt and submit tabs, even although they may not have made any changes.|