To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average time for dealing with a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman was in (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000, (d) 2000–01 and (e) in the current year; (2) how many complaints the Parliamentary Ombudsman received in
(a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 2000–01, (d) 2001–02 and (e) this year; 
(3) how many (a) investigators and (b) solicitors the Pensions Ombudsman has to investigate complaints. 
The Pensions Ombudsman currently employs 15 investigators of whom five are legally qualified. In addition to this a small number of lawyers are used on a "fee per case" basis.The information requested on average clearance times and number of complaints are in the following tables. The information on the year 2002–03 is not available. The Pension Ombudsman's annual 2002–03 report, which will be published later this year, will contain data that assesses performance using different criteria and consequently will not be directly comparable.
|Average time for dealing with a complaint|
|From acceptance to completion||Once formal investigation begins|
Pensions Ombudsman annual reports 1997–2002