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What can be investigated?

The Pensions Ombudsman investigates complaints that an individual has suffered a financial loss because of some failure in the administration of a pension scheme, PRSA or Trust RAC.

Complaints are usually made against those responsible for the management of occupational pension schemes and PRSAs. A complaint may be against those who are (or have been) trustees, managers, employers, former employers and administrators (including PRSA providers).

The Pensions Ombudsman also investigates disputes of fact or law concerning pension schemes, between members and others entitled to benefit from the schemes, and trustees or managers or employers.

A failure of administration means administration that is poor, or that has failed in some way. It can be something that was done, or something that was not done - if someone fails to do something they should have done, or doesn't do it properly, or does something they should not have done. It can include many things, such as unnecessary delay, wrong information, incorrect payments and neglect, among others.

To succeed with a complaint, it is not enough that you don't agree with a decision by those managing a scheme or a PRSA - you must have reason to believe that the decision was not properly made or implemented and you must have sustained actual financial loss.

Disputes of fact or law usually arise out of a complaint of poor administration, without needing a separate investigation.

Whether a complaint involves bad administration or a dispute of fact or law is for the Pensions Ombudsman to decide.

If your complaint is about how a scheme is being run - where you have not suffered actual financial loss as such - bring the complaint to the Pensions Board at The Pensions Board, Verschoyle House, 28/30 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 613 1900, 1890 65-65-65, alternatively view their website at