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What happens next?

When he receives your form and any documents you submit with it, the Pensions Ombudsman must then decide whether the matter is one that he can deal with. If the Ombudsman cannot investigate your complaint or dispute you will be told as soon as the preliminary examination of your case is finished.This could happen because the matter is not on the list of matters the Pensions Ombudsman is allowed to look at, or because the time-limits set out in the Pensions Act have expired. If there is another Ombudsman or authority that may be able to look at your complaint, you will be given this information too, and the Pensions Ombudsman may seek your permission to forward your details to that other body. If the Ombudsman does decide to investigate your complaint or dispute, you will be notified. You may be asked for further information. It is essential to get this information back to the Ombudsman's office without delay. It is important to note, that other parties to the complaint or dispute, named in your application form, may be sent copies of any papers the Ombudsman receives from you. Preliminary View The amount of time it takes to investigate will depend on how complicated the matter is. When the Pensions Ombudsman is near the end of an investigation, he may give a "Preliminary View" to all parties to the complaint or dispute. This will list the facts as they have been found during the investigation and the Ombudsman's view on how he is likely to rule on the matter. At that stage the parties will have a chance to provide any further information or evidence that they feel is important to the case. The Pensions Ombudsman will not give a preliminary view in all cases - only those where he feels it right to do so. The Ombudsman will then make a final ruling of the issue that is the subject of the complaint or dispute. Financial compensation may be awarded in a case were the Pensions Ombudsman decides that an individual who has complained has been at a financial loss due to the poor administration of a pensions scheme or a PRSA. The Pension Ombudsman's ruling is final. However, any party may appeal it to the High Court. The Pensions Ombudsman may make a ruling even if the complaint is withdrawn during the investigation.