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Annual Report and Accounts 2006

I am pleased to present my Annual Report for 2006, the third complete year of operation of the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman.  The work of the Office has continued to progress with an ever increasing volume of new cases received.  Last year, I stated that I was concerned at the length of time it was taking to complete investigations and that any increase in caseload might result in my Office being unable to attend to other important matters.  I regret to report that the situation has deteriorated since then.  I encountered considerable difficulty in obtaining a replacement for one of my investigators who left in September and there has also been some turnover among the administrative staff. However, I am glad to be able to report that the investigator vacancy has recently been filled.  Extra staff resources have also recently been promised, which should go a long way towards enabling my Office to deal with the increased workload and other matters which have, regrettably, been neglected thus far.

This year has also seen a couple of appeals to the High Court against my determinations, which clearly will involve us in considerable extra work.  I will comment later on the sources of the complaints we receive and on the lessons to be learned from them.  The casework this year has again highlighted a couple of issues which have been referred to the Pensions Board, or to the Financial Regulator, as appropriate.  I wish to record my own and my staff’s appreciation of the ongoing co-operation that exists between us and the Board, the Regulator and the Financial Services Ombudsman and his staff, the objective of which is to ensure that users of financial services receive the best service we can give.

A full version of the report is available for download below. 

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