Appeals by scheme members against pension related decisions
There is a procedure for scheme members who wish to complain about a decision which affects their pension.
The Application for Adjudication of Disagreements Procedure (AADP) allows a member two appeal stages.
Stage 1: The member appeals to whoever they feel has been at fault in making the decision which affected their pension. That may be you as the employer or the Derbyshire Pension Fund itself.
Stage 2: If the member is not satisfied with the outcome of their Stage 1 appeal, they can make a further appeal at Stage 2 of the procedure directly to the Derbyshire Pension Fund.
Who can appeal against a decision
- An active scheme member - someone who is paying into the LGPS.
- A deferred scheme member - someone who has left their pension benefits on hold with us.
- A retired scheme member - someone who has retired and is receiving a pension from us.
- A prospective member - someone who is not yet a scheme member but could become one if their employer brings them in, or they ask to join.
- A dependant - a widow, widower, surviving civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner or child of a member or prospective member.
Someone who thinks they should fall into one of these categories may also appeal if they believe their pension rights have been affected.
Appealing on someone's behalf
Another person can appeal on someone's behalf. It may be the case that the complainant is happier with or needs someone else to represent them.
This can be for example, a friend, relative, solicitor or union representative.
What can be appealed
From the day someone joins the pension scheme, various decisions are being made about their pension - both by you as the employer, and by ourselves at Derbyshire Pension Fund. If they disagree with a decision, they may complain about it.
Examples of decisions made by you as the employer include:
- deciding whether the member can retire on ill health.
- deciding the pay to be used to work out benefits.
- deciding if to auto-enrol a worker.
Examples of decisions made by Derbyshire Pension Fund include:
- applying any discretions we have - for example whether or not to accept a transfer from another scheme
- explaining how the member is affected by the various scheme rules
- working out member's benefits.
Other examples of complaints may include:
- not being given the information needed to make a pension related decision
- where unreasonable delays have occurred in paying benefits.
The appeal stages
A person wishing to appeal a decision should complete the AADP form and send it to their employer or the pension fund depending on who they feel has been at fault.
The appeal must be made within six months of the date:
- the person was informed of the decision about which they are appealing
- a decision should have been made, but wasn't.
When an appeal is received:
- The facts of the case will be examined, along with the scheme rules, and any other legislation which is relevant by your LGPS AADP adjudicator.
- The adjudicator must provide a written reply to the appellant within two months of the date the appeal was received with details of the decision, or to acknowledge that there will be a delay in making a decision and when that decision will be made by.
If the appeal is about a decision made by Derbyshire Pension Fund it should be sent to:
Stage 1 LGPS Adjudicator
Derbyshire Pension Fund
If the person remains dissatisfied with the decision made at Stage 1, they have six months from the date they received the written decision to refer their case via a further appeal at Stage 2 of the procedure.
Stage 2 appeals are considered by our Pensions and Investments Committee, as the administering authority of Derbyshire Pension Fund.
The committee will re-examine the details of the case and refer to scheme rules and other legislation where required in making its decision.
The appellant will be notified of the decision within two months of the date the pension fund received the Stage 2 appeal.
Further appeal stages
If the appellant is still dissatisfied with the outcome after determinations at AADP Stages 1 and 2 they have further options in pursuing their case by contacting the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and the pensions ombudsman.
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