Hogan Lovells

Key Dates

Determination issued on 24 January 2018.


Mrs Y wished to transfer her benefits from the Principal Civil Service Scheme to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS) in Australia.

Legislation affecting transfers from UK registered pension schemes changed on 6 April 2015:

Australian legislation allows benefit to be taken from pension schemes for purposes other than ill health before age 55 and the majority of Australian schemes on HMRC's QROPS list prior to 17 June 2015 ceased to be recognised as QROPS after this date.

Mrs Y and her independent financial adviser (IFA) were in regular contact with the Scheme administrator throughout November and December 2014 requesting a cash equivalent transfer value and providing letters of authority. Various delays occurred and the transfer was not processed by 17 June 2015. Mrs Y was told in November 2015 that the transfer could not proceed.

The administrator accepted that the transfer request had been mishandled and offered £300 compensation. Mrs Y complained to the Pensions Ombudsman.

The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman (DPO) found that, but for the administrator's delays, there would probably have been time to process the transfer before Mrs Y's chosen scheme in Australia ceased to be a QROPS. There was no doubt that Mrs Y had suffered an injustice: the issue was what could be done to put the matter right. The DPO made the following comments.

In the circumstances, the distress and inconvenience caused had been unusually great and the administrator was directed to pay her £2,000 compensation to recognise this fact.

Date Accessed: 28/05/2022