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Governing Legislation

The Pensions Ombudsman's Office was set up under Part XI of the Pensions Act 1990 (inserted by the Pensions (Amendment) Act 2002).

Regulations concerning the Pensions Ombudsman, entitled Pensions Ombudsman Regulations, 2003, (S.I. No 397 of 2003) were made in September 2003. Relevant sections of the Pensions Act were commenced on 2 September 2003 by S.I. no 398 of 2003.

Section 23 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2003, was commenced by S.I. no 399 of 2003. This extends to the Freedom of Information Act to the Pensions Ombudsman, but exempts matters which are the subject of investigation for the operation of the Act. See here for further FOI information.

An amendment concerning the retirement age of future appointees to the office of the Pensions Ombudsman was effected by Schedule 2, Part 2 of the Public Service Superannuation (Miscelleanous Provisions) Act, 2004.

A minor amendment concerning the format of the complaints was made in Schedule 2, s.23, Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004. This also amended provisions relating to the payment of travelling expenses, etc., to persons attending for the purposes of an investigation.

The Pensions Ombudsman acquired power to waive the requirement for Internal Disputes Resolution in certain circumstances, by virtue of the Social Welfare Reform and Pensions Act, 2006. 

Under Section 21 of the Social Welfare and Pensions (No.2) Act 2009, the power to seek enforcement of determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman through the courts was transferred from the then Minister for Social and Family Affairs to the Pensions Ombudsman.