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What is excluded?

The Pensions Ombudsman cannot investigate:
  •  a complaint or dispute already subject to Court proceedings (an industrial tribunal counts as a Court) - unless those proceedings are "stayed" (i.e. suspended) by the Court.
  •  a complaint or dispute about a State social security benefit (for example, Social Welfare Retirement or Old Age Pensions)
  • a complaint that trustees are not complying with the Pensions Act.
  • Personal Pensions / ARFs
This would include complaints about
  • requirements for member-nominated trustees;
  •  restrictions on employer related investments ("self-investment");
  • appointment of professional advisers;
  • requirement to keep books and records;
  • funding or solvency standards;
  • requirement for schemes to remit contributions, unless this has resulted in an actual financial loss to the member;
  • general matters of disclosure of information, annual reports, valuations, accounts and the like;
  • equal treatment of men and women;
  • the conduct of the scheme generally - as opposed to a complaint affecting only an individual's benefits.
These matters of general compliance with the Pensions Act are the responsibility of the Pensions Board. Any complaint or dispute concerning these matters should be referred to the Board, which has power to investigate the state and conduct of a pension scheme and is the Regulator of PRSAs. The Board also has statutory power to determine certain matters prescribed by the Pensions Act - in particular, whether a pension scheme is a defined benefit or a defined contribution scheme; whether service in "relevant employment" has been terminated; and certain matters in relation to equal treatment of men and women. Contact: The Pensions Board, Verschoyle House, 28/30 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Telephone: 01 613 1900 Fax: 01 631 8602 Website: The Pensions Ombudsman cannot make any findings of fact as to non-compliance with the Pensions Act or the matters that fall under the statutory powers of the Pensions Board. However, it is possible that a complaint may involve both financial loss to you and failure by some other person to comply with the Pensions Act. If this is so, both the Pensions Board and the Pensions Ombudsman may investigate the matter. If in doubt, please apply to either the Pensions Board or the Pensions Ombudsman's Office for advice